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Son of Olympian joins Saints' Next Gen Academy

Jack Peris (right) with Saint Ben Long. Picture: @jack_peris33 Instagram - AFL,St Kilda Saints
Jack Peris (right) with Saint Ben Long. Picture: @jack_peris33 Instagram

THE SON of Oympic gold medallist Nova Peris, Jack, has joined St Kilda's Next Generation Academy.

Having joined the NGA, the Saints will have priority on the talented track athlete if the 15-year-old nominates for a future NAB AFL Draft.

Peris already has two national records and specialises in 400m.

"One of Jack's life ambitions is to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. It's probably going to depend on how his athletics form goes in the next six months, which will sort of dictate where he sits with that, and that's something that we're really supportive of," NGA manager Jack Henty told

"He's got a dual dream of being an Olympian and pursuing AFL as well, and we're pretty keen to support him with both of those pursuits and see what happens at the end of it."

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With his draft year in 2021, Peris could compete at the next Olympics and enter football the following season.

His mother helped the Hockeyroos win gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, while she reached the semi-finals of the 400m race at Sydney four years later, which fellow Australian Cathy Freeman ended up winning.

Peris is studying at Melbourne Grammar, having relocated from the Northern Territory.

"Probably over the course of the last 12 months, football's taken a little bit of a back seat for Jack as he focusses on his athletics," Henty said.

"But as we build a relationship with the Peris family and with Melbourne Grammar as well, we've been able to support him with his athletics as well as his football ambitions, so Jack's a pretty exciting prospect for us."

To qualify for an NGA draft concession, the player has to have indigenous heritage, have been born in Asia or Africa, or have a parent born in Asia or Africa.