Community coaches from diverse backgrounds will have the opportunity to be part of a special new program named in honour of AFL Legend Alex Jesaulenko.
Under the Alex Jesaulenko Coaching Internship, community coaches with a multicultural background will be appointed to work part time and as a volunteer in an AFL club’s football/coaching program for a period of 12 weeks during 2017.
A multicultural background is defined by the coach, or their parents, being born overseas. It is intended the program will focus on coaches with Northern African, or Asian heritage.
The program will provide coaches with specific experiences in player development, game analysis, planning for training and competition, injury prevention and rehabilitation, coach-to-coach and coach-to-player relationships, and enhancing leadership skills.
It is intended that the individual coach will use their experience to inspire other a non-traditional football background and/or multicultural background to become involved in the game, and pass on the knowledge they gain through their community football network.
For AFL Clubs, they will gain an additional volunteer and enjoy the benefits of greater cultural diversity within their football department. All AFL clubs will be invited to be part of the program.
The program was piloted in 2016 and was regarded by the six clubs taking part as a valuable and positive initiative.
AFL Football Operations Manager Simon Lethlean said:
“The AFL is excited to be able to offer community coaches an amazing opportunity to experience the inner sanctum at an AFL club.”
“I want to thank our clubs, our coaches and the AFL Coaches Association in advance for providing this opportunity and we thank Alex for lending his name to the program.
“It’s vitally important we continue to encourage people from diverse communities to become involved in all levels of the game and this coaching internship does exactly that.”