Faces of Westbrook - Meet Graeme from the Wyndham Suns
Getting involved is at the core of a community. No one understands this better than Graeme Clark, President of the Suns Football Netball Club. As a key member of the Westbrook community, he’s responsible for managing and recruiting all teams.
Coming off a successful year, in which two Football & Netball teams made finals, Graeme is looking forward to garnering more support for the club with updated facilities, and a new batch of recruits.
The Suns receive a generous sponsorship grant of $10k from Westbrook each year. A majority of the year’s funding is used to subsidise the junior teams, helping to ensure the fees are kept affordable for families and encouraging participation. With the remainder of the grant, the club chose to update the lights on their footy oval, a key requirement when training at night.
With the 2023 grant, Graeme has clear plans for new lights to be installed above the main oval. However, plans for renovations don’t end there.
“We’re working on trying to get some funding for an electronic video scoreboard and elevated coaches’ box on the opposite side of the oval. That way, we can put the scoreboard and timekeepers there, and record games from a higher vantage point, so you can see everything and give more feedback to both junior and senior players.”
This year, the club is planning for two senior men’s football teams, five junior mixed football sides, multiple women’s netball teams & an AusKick program. Additionally, Graeme is hoping to include one under 15’s girls football side.
Getting regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health. Being active is important for brain and body function and has been shown to reduce heart diseases and heart attacks, and lower high cholesterol.
For children, involvement in team sports can improve communication skills and nurture essential social skills that will prove beneficial later in life.
Becoming a part of a local club, like the Suns Football Netball Club, is a quick and easy way to meet new people and integrate into the local community. As a family-orientated club, the Suns are welcoming to supporters and players of all ages, cultures, and genders. You can find them at their Goddard St Reserve home ground.
Through contacts in different clubs, word of mouth, and encouraging previous players to sign up again, he’s looking forward to another great season. The Sun’s senior football and netball teams are coming off a successful year, having qualified and competed in finals.
“To have two Netball sides in your first year make finals is a very good achievement by everyone concerned,” he enthuses.
“We’ve gone out and recruited to complement what we already have.”
“We have a desire to get the job done, return to the finals, and secure a win.”
Brand new club rooms are sure to help. Following a change in AFL guidelines, the Suns have embarked on the redevelopment of updated facilities. After a slight delay, Graeme expects the rooms to be open & operational by May.
“Thankfully we got approval to update our club rooms last year. They’re now close to being finished, and we expect to enjoy them again in March.”
The new AFL/VFL guidelines ensure previously male-orientated facilities are updated for the inclusive trajectory that AFL has taken, encouraging and preserving female footy.
“I have to say a big Thank You to Wyndham City Council and Dennis Family. Without organisations like them, community sports clubs wouldn’t survive. They’ve been fantastic for us and we’re forever in their debt,” Graeme enthuses. He encourages all players, families and supporters to continue to build a strong club atmosphere by getting involved and attending regular games.
“In the next 5 years, our plans are to be in the top end of division two, knocking on the door to go into division one. We’ll have about 12 junior sides and four or five netball sides, a senior ladies’ football side, and three junior girls’ footy sides as well.”