The Western Jets have a proud tradition in the TAC cup. “Long foot don’t look down”. One of the founding teams when the competition first began in 1992 the club has been the breeding ground of AFL champions including Matthew Lloyd, Brad Johnson and Dustin Fletcher.
And while success on the football field is still a priority, the Jets have launched an initiative with the help of Victoria University and three schools in the West of Melbourne aimed at helping players make a smooth transition into Tertiary Education after completing their schooling. As part of the program students are given access to Victoria University’s state of the art facilities where they are given a solid grounding in Exercise Science.
“We can have different volumes; the ones we are specifically interested in are the VO2 which is the oxygen consumption by the subjects”. Jets Region Manager Shane Sexton says the program has been well received by those involved, “the program started in I think in about 1998 when Essendon Keilor College was established, over that period of time Essendon Keilor College had fantastic success in their program in excess of 20 kids who have either been rookied or drafted to AFL clubs”.
Program Manager Sonja Kiernan says the unique learning environment is the most important aspect of the course. “We have the facilities, we have the people, we have everything here to be able to provide a bit of an edge I suppose to their regular everyday training”.
Jets youngster Harley Armstrong Western says he is enjoying the learning experience, “we have access to people like Sonya who helps us with our techniques and athletics side of it, stretches and techniques and everything to help us run and that and we also have Scott who analyses the way we go about before and what we need to learn and improve on”. And with the close support of Victoria University and the three schools involved look for this program to go from strength to strength in coming years.
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