Junior team sport returns to Moore Park Beach
The rebirth of junior team sport in Moore Park Beach is complete after a fairytale debut for the AFL Kookaburras on Friday night.
The fairytale isn't the result, because scores aren't kept at under 8 or under 10 level, but more the journey to get there.
Jumpers only arrived 45 minutes before the opening game after being taken from a plane at Brisbane and driven up.
And the jumpers are modelled on Moore Park Beach's sister club, the Atlanta Kookaburras in the United States.
It's the first time an American senior club has mentored Aussie juniors and they're among the few AFL teams in the world to be known as Kookaburras.
At the 2016 census, Moore Park Beach had 2650 residents and 521 of these were aged 5-19 but they had no team sports to play after the soccer club relocated.
Paul and Wendy Timms were among those who felt something should be done for the town's youth to have a sporting outlet for health and wellbeing.
They founded the Moore Park Beach Sporting Association and AFL is the first of potentially several sports which will ultimately be offered.
“We moved here a couple of years ago and got involved with the community, starting up a gym,” Paul said.
“There was no junior team sport at all in Moore Park Beach and we felt that should change to give the kids something to do.
“What we like about AFL is the work they've done to promote women and girls getting into the sport.
“Most of our players are girls and come from non-AFL backgrounds.”
Green and gold were selected as the fledgling club's colours, reflecting the sandy beach and fertile fields.
Kookaburras are prolific at Moore Park Beach.
“Louise and Ken on our steering committee were passionate about taking up the Kookaburras name,” Paul said.
“They're a social animal and they love to laugh.”
With that important decision made, officials reached out to the Atlanta Kookaburras, gained permission to use their jumper design and formed a sister-club relationship.
The jumpers were flown from the manufacturer to Brisbane, landing at midday on Friday, and were driven to Bundaberg by supporters who arrived at The Waves match venue 45 minutes before the first game at 6.15pm last night.
Paul, who is currently president and one of the coaches along with Brett Binstead, said the players did well and had a lot of fun.
“Everyone was very excited,” he said.
“A lot of the parents couldn't believe how athletic and skilled the girls were, seeing them run around and kicking goals.
“It surprised a few of the Dads.”
The extra club has seen the junior AFL competition expand to four teams in under 8 competition and five in under 10.
Moore Park Beach welcomes new players. Visit the Facebook page for information.