Corangamite Lions Continue Growth
FFV ZDO Visits Developing Club
FFV ZONE Development Officer for the Wimmera/South Coast region Foddy Kyprian recently traveled to Scotts Creek in the South western region of Victoria to run sessions for three junior teams at the Corangamite Lions, a small club with an amazingly dedicated group of volunteers and an ever growing troupe of junior footballers.
Corangamaite Lions were established in 2012 with a Senior side competing in the then Warrnambool and District Soccer League. The original home ground was Mockridge Park in Camperdown, but in 2013 the Corangamite Shire made available the old AFL ground at Scotts Creek Recreation Reserve for the exclusive use of football and the club moved its base to there.
In 2013, the club entered teams in both the Senior and Under 15 competitions in the WDSL. The junior team began with modest numbers in its inaugural season, and struggled competitively, but at least a foothold had been established.
Again in 2014 the Senior team remained competitive, whilst the Under 15s continued to battle, but on a positive note player numbers continued to increase.
In 2015 the WDSL made the decision to split the junior competition into two age groups – Under 13 and Under 16, and Corangamite Lions were delighted to be able to enter teams in all grades – Seniors, Under 16 and Under 13. Results in the junior grades also began to improve and in the Senior competition the club was delighted to capture the Senior Premiership.
In 2016 the club continued to see good performances in all grades, and participation numbers remained strong.
An ageing senior team saw a raft of player retirements prior to the 2017 season which meant the club was forced to withdraw from the senior competition, although on a positive note, player numbers were so strong in the younger age groups that two Under 13’s teams were able to be entered in the new South West Victoria Football (SWVF) competition, along with an Under 16 team which, although struggling for numbers itself has competed strongly in the Under 16 competition.
Following receipt of a VicHealth Active Club Grant, the club was in a position to launch a MiniRoos Program in 2017. The Corangamite MiniRoos program is led by coaches Jacinta and Will MacDonald and runs weekly every Tuesday afternoon during the two middle school terms.
To illustrate the level of dedication of this incredible mother-son team, Will is a member of the North Geelong U16 NPL team and, along with his mother, embarks on a three and a hour round trip to Elcho Park three days a week for training, as well as every Sunday for match day!
This FFV registered program has seen upwards of 20 registered participants, and forms an incredibly strong base for football to continue to grow and prosper in the Corangamite Region.
For many years, the Warrnambool Wolves Football Club ran the senior and junior weekend football competitions for the South West region. Whilst this ensured smoothly and efficiently run competitions, it was clear that the burden was falling on too few people and only one club.
Consequently, at the end of 2016, a meeting was called of all the clubs in the region – including Portland and Colac who currently compete in other Leagues – with the view of discussing the future of football in the South Western region of Victoria. From this meeting the South West Victorian Football Association was born.
The organisation consists of five founder clubs – Corangamite Lions, Deakin Dragons, Hamilton Raiders, Warrnambool Rangers and Warrnambool Wolves.
In season 2017, the SWVF launched with an eight team Under 13 competition with Corangamite, Hamilton, Rangers and Wolves all entering two teams. There is a five team Under 16 competition as well as a four team Senior competition.
The aim of the Association is to establish strong viable competitions in all grades, with a view to growing both player numbers, and possibly catchment areas over the next decade.
All competitions are currently mixed, but it is a stated ambition of the executive to proactively grow female participation with a long term view to running gender specific competitions in the region.