IMPROVING footy skills and having fun is what the Belmont Redcliffe Junior Football Academy is all about.
The academy has been running at Peet Park since October and after a break during the school holidays, it is back in full swing for another five weeks.
Co-ordinator Paul McGrath said the concept of the academy was to improve the skills of local players during the football off-season.
“Lots of kids return to their clubs in April after not kicking a ball for months,” he said.
“The kids have been improving with their skills and learning the discipline side of football too.
“We had 132 players registered during the first term and 78 in the second term; they’ve all come from clubs in the area.
“There has also been a focus on the girls too, we’ve had 37 registered girls and I didn’t expect that many.”
McGrath said they would look to improve the academy when it ran again during the next off-season.
“It’s not meant to be another pre-season, it’s about improving the players’ kicking abilities and where to run on a football oval,” he said.
“It’s all about the grassroots here but every player starts from somewhere and the next AFL player could be here.”
A key focus of the academy was to make it affordable for families as the program costs $30, which compares favourably to other academies and was made possible through sponsorship from people such as Belmont MLA Cassie Rowe.