“Be prepared, leave early and live”, was the message delivered by North Melbourne footballer Jack Ziebell to students from Belgrave South Primary School.
Ziebell, who is from Country Victoria, spent an afternoon with Grade 5 and 6 students from BelgraveSouthPrimary School conducting a football clinic and spread the FireReady message.
Ziebell ran the session in conjunction with local CFA members and believes the clinic was a great way to deliver important fire safety information to parents, while providing a fun day for the kids.
“Football is a sport that brings a lot of people together and if we can relay these messages through sport then we can have a positive impact on the community,” Ziebell said.
“The most important message is for the kids to encourage their parents to get FireReady and be prepared this summer. If they can go home and stress this information to their parents then today will be a success.”
“We’re getting out and visiting communities in high fire-risk areas to spread the FireReady message.”
Alan Dixon from the CFA said it was a champion opportunity to have an AFL footballer deliver FireReady messages.
“An AFL player is going to be listened to substantially more than a mum and dad,” a Belgrave South resident added.
The recently formed partnership sees AFL Players’ deliver three regional clinics, including local boys Joel Selwood and Troy Chaplin returning to Bendigo and Maryborough respectively.
AFL Players’ CEO Matt Finnis said the partnership was one which players, particularly those who grew up in high fire-risk areas, felt very strongly about and was a good opportunity for players to use their influence to deliver a very important message.
“Many of our members come from country regions, where the risk of bushfire is very real, so particularly for those players this is an issue they are very passionate about”, said Finnis.
“We’ve selected players from these regions to visit these communities, and their enthusiasm and understanding helps them deliver the message and clearly from this first clinic we have seen the real power this can have on these young children and their parents.”