Flying Boomerangs to tour South Africa

The Flying Boomerangs is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men aged 14 -15 years-old, supported by the Coles AFL Indigenous Program.

Selected from the 2012 AFL KickStart Under-15 Championships, the Flying Boomerangs squad of 25 players will play two matches against South African teams in Potchefstroom and Durban, coached by former St Kilda player Raphael Clarke.

NSW will have four representatives on the tour, led by Maroubra local Ben Davis. Davis was a stand out for the Flying Boomerangs during the Sydney program.

He is close to being the smallest player in the squad but his speed along with the determination to throw himself into packs and put his head over the ball makes him a vital player.

Davis leads by example, his presence on and off the field saw him captain the team during the North West Academy match; he will no doubt play an important role in leading the team while they are in South Africa.

Jamarrah Firebrace and Tyler Cubby from Moama, NSW will also play on the tour while the official umpire is Hayden Banks from Wagga Wagga.

The Boomerangs will also conduct a footyWILD clinic in Cape Town township, visit Table Mountain and Robben Island where former South Africa President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in 1964 for 18 years before being moved to another prison.

AFL National Community Engagement Manager Jason Mifsud and AFL Indigenous Programs Coordinator Xavier Clarke are attending the tour.

“This is a great opportunity for these talented young men to develop on and off the field,” said Mifsud.

“The Flying Boomerangs squad is made up of the best rising Indigenous talent in the nation and they will be given the chance to represent their country and showcase Australia’s game in South Africa when they play two exhibition matches against local teams.

“Throughout the tour the players will be exposed to elite training, as well as many cultural experiences which will be focussed on addressing the four core pillars of the program; Resilience, Identity, Decision Making and Communication.

“The tour to South Africa is a significant event in the Boomerangs’ program as it focusses on personal development and leadership, helping the participants to develop into confident young men and leaders in their community.”

Tour highlights:

24  Jan – Training in Perth, including performance of the War Cry

26 Jan – Soweto tour (Mandela House, Regina Mundi Church & Township)

28 Jan – Boomerangs v Lions – Game 1

30 Jan – Visit Lion Park

1 Feb – Boomerangs vs. Lions – Game 2

3 Feb – Visit Table Mountain/Robben Island

4 Feb – Visit a juvenile prison

2013 Flying Boomerangs squad:

Brandan Parfitt (Karama, NT), Aiden Hill (Alice Springs, NT), Brendon Jackson (Whyalla, SA), Kyle Jackson (Whyalla, SA), Isaya McKenzie (Willaston, SA), Geoffrey Taylor (Port Lincoln, SA), Liam Bennell (Albany, WA), Darnell Morrison (Lockridge, WA), Callum AhChee (Armadale, WA), Elijah Howard (Waterford, WA), Jayden Gerrand (Sinagra, WA), Gary Scott (Geraldton, WA), Neil Winmar (Maddington, WA), Russell Wynne (Mount Barker, WA), Jamarrah Firebrace (Moama, NSW), Ben Davis (Maroubra, NSW), Tyler Cubby (Moama, NSW), Hayden Banks (Forest Hill, NSW), Cory Glass (Chirnside Park, VIC), Jade Gresham (Mill Park, VIC), Koolyn Briggs (Moonee Ponds, VIC), Aidyn Johnson (Echuca, VIC), Djye Thorpe-Morgan (Shepparton, VIC), Heath Molloy (Monunda, Carins, QLD), Aaron Yusia (Forest Lake, QLD), John Mason (Flinders View, QLD)

Raphael Clarke – Head Coach

Pictured: A member of the Boomerangs squad in South Africa on the 2012 tour.