Extra element being the curtain-raiser – Rd 16

14.07.17 11:00

The group gets a buzz out of playing at TIO Stadium, but this week has that extra element being the curtain-raiser to an AFL game. The deck is looking the best I’ve seen it in over 20 years and should make for some fast, skillful footy throughout the day.

After a positive win last Saturday, this week’s challenge doesn’t get any easier. A proud and determined Aspley will be here looking to consolidate their finals aspirations. A win for us can have a massive impact on where we finish on the ladder in season 2017. This game is critical for both sides, which should make for some desperate exciting footy.

I was lucky earlier this week to attend an AFL leadership program in Melbourne, a great experience and opportunity to network with some incredible talent within the industry. I found myself reflecting on our program and what impact we can make in the community.

We do an amazing job of providing the opportunity for young Territorians to represent their people and family playing for Thunder. First and foremost we are a footy club hoping to win each week, but work done off the field is what makes me most proud. Player visits to schools and remote communities, motivation talks with teens at Don Dale Youth Detention Centre and our relationship with the Salvation Army’s Nest program assisting the homeless getting back into reliable accommodation.

No doubt the people we visit get a buzz out of seeing and spending time with our players, but the experience it gives our young guys is invaluable. Our players often use words such as ‘humbling’ and ‘honoured’ to be able to touch people’s lives in a small way. I can personally see our young guys growing from the experience and actively being positive role models in the community.

This week’s Round 16 home clash against the Aspley Hornets at TIO Stadium kicks off at 3pm, avoid the queues later and come cheer us on.