SOUTH Fremantle Football Club and WAFL legend Stephen Michael made a special trip back to where it all began as part of the AFL Indigenous round over the weekend.
Michael, who was in town with a group of budding footy players from Meekatharra, took part in activities as part of the Stephen Michael Foundation, including a breakfast at the South Fremantle Football Club, where they also got to meet past and present players and watch the players train.
The group also took part in a half-time match against Kojonup at the Eagles and St Kilda Indigenous match.
Michael said it was important to come up and support the children during the weekend activities, as well as show them the opportunities available to them including education and sport.
“The foundation came about from the footy club and it’s a great idea,” he said.
“I’m basically the role model at the front of it and we go to places like Meekatharra, Kojonup, Carnarvon and Narrogin and try to help kids, whether they be black, white, whatever nationality, boys, girls; we are trying to get the kids into the mainstream of life to be able to do really well with whatever they want to do.”
The dual Sandover Medallist and premiership player, who played 243 games for the Bulldogs, said he enjoyed coming back to his old stamping ground where he had made lifelong memories.
“You spend 10 years here playing, with the great players, community members, the officials and volunteers, and it brings back memories all the time,” he said.
“It’s one of the greatest clubs and I think all clubs are great but to me this is my home.”
Michael said the weekend, while a challenge for some of the children, was important for their futures.
“It’s a big world out there and instead of being in their little home environments, by coming out to South Fremantle it opens the pathways to see what the world is about and it’s good to see how other people live, communicate and how to conduct yourselves,” he said.
The Stephen Michael Foundation aims to open up opportunities for the youth and young adults in the community and the overall South Fremantle Football Club’s zone, to help those regardless of colour, ethnic background or social circumstances.