Friends the best part of playing footy says Balga Bombers youngster

Friends the best part of playing footy says Balga Bombers youngster

The Waddington Primary School student fell in love with Australian Rules football when he was eight and has not looked back since.

Bonheur or ‘Bonnie’ as he is affectionately known, excels in the sport and while others are happy to just participate, the Koondoola resident eats, breathes and sleeps the game.

In such a short time, Bonheur has won the Balga Bombers President’s Green Tree Award for resilience and good sportsmanship, was elevated from player to captain and recently took on the role of coaching the Edmund Rice Centre Young Lions side.

“I started playing football in 2012 for the Edmund Rice Lions program, which is a multicultural football team that helps young boys and girls become great at footy,” Bonheur said.

“It was a great experience, I honestly love everything about AFL but the thing I like most about it is making friends, learning and teaching the kids how to play.

“When I’m playing footy games and do something good in my heart I feel really good.”

Bonheur said while the coaching side of the game was not something he was initially keen on, the transition was made smoother thanks to encouragement from his sister and WAFC community engagement co-ordinator, Bella Ndayikeze.

“Honestly coaching is actually pretty fun after giving it a go,” he said.

“I was nervous but got through it with support from Bella.

“I am gaining a lot of respect from everyone and feel good about teaching the kids some of the skills and passing on my knowledge to the boys my age.”

Bonheur said he hoped to continue to grow in his role as coach of the Young Lions as well as remain captain of the Balga Bombers.

He hoped his career would emulate his heroes including Nic Naitanui, Nat Fyfe and Gary Ablett.

“I want to become a professional AFL player, if I don’t then I’ll continue to coach or work at the WA Football Commission.”