Most football players can only dream of getting the chance to do what students at Dapto Public School did last week.
The young group were treated to a rare opportunity usually reserved for some of the sporting code’s biggest names in Australia.
Following a visit from A-League heavyweights Sydney FC as part of the Sporting Schools Program, the students got up close and personal with the club’s Premiers Plate and Champions Trophy from last season’s title-double winning campaign.
It was the perfect way to round out a successful Sporting Schools Program at Dapto Public, according to Sky Blues community football manager and ex-Wollongong Wolves premiership player Paul Reid.
Reid, who scored the crucial equaliser in the Wolves 2000 grand final win in Perth, has spent a large portion of term 3 at the school.
The $160 million initiative has seen the Australian Government partner with more than 30 national sporting organisations, like Sydney FC, to deliver their respective games during and after school
“It is a government initiative encouraging kids to get active and play sport,” Reid said.
“There are 32 sports that schools can choose and football is obviously one of them.
“Schools just have to register and apply for funding online. It doesn’t cost the students anything which is obviously great.”
“Schools might not even know about it, even though it is government initiative.
“The more schools that do know about it, it will obviously be beneficial for the kids.
“It was really well received by the students at Dapto.”
Sydney FC have delivered four to eight week programs at 25 different schools since joining up with the government funded initiative.
“Of those 25, only two were from the Wollongong area so if we can get out more to schools down there, we will definitely be keen to do so,” Reid said.
Meanwhile, Sydney FC next play in the FFA Cup quarter finals against Melbourne City at Leichhardt Oval on Wednesday night.