Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2015-07-29 Contents PAGE 8 – The Courier SPORT Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Onkaparinga Valley Football
Club welcomed Adelaide Crows
midfielder Rory Sloane for a
special visit to Balhannah Oval on
Monday, July 20.
Sloane conducted multiple training
sessions with the Valley Bulldogs modified
rules and underage teams, as well as
providing an opportunity for photos,
autographs and a question and answer
This wonderful experience came about
through the generosity of Sloane, after
hearing of the horrific accident suffered by
past Onka Valley player Chris Blowes, who
lost a leg after being attacked by a shark
while surfing near Port Lincoln on Anzac
In view of the tragic circumstances, a
Chris Blowes benefit event was organised
by his family and close friends on Sunday,
June 14, where numerous items were
auctioned off, including a coaching clinic
and appearance session kindly donated by
This auction item was subsequently
purchased at the benefit by the Onka Valley
The coaching clinics held at Balhannah
proved to be an enormous success
with more than 100 junior footballers
participating in the sessions, with parents,
coaches, committee members, senior
players and supporters also in attendance.
All those watching on thoroughly
appreciated viewing the young Bulldogs
going through their paces with a current
day AFL star, while also enjoying the
facilities at the club.
After the training sessions were held,
Sloane took several questions from the
young audience, sharing his experiences
as a young footballer in country Victoria,
explaining the key areas that underage
players should focus on.
He also reflected on the challenges
associated with moving interstate as an
18-year-old, his worst injuries, his toughest
AFL opponents and which Adelaide player
‘googles’ his name the most.
Following the question and answer session
in the clubrooms, Sloane continued signing
autographs, posed for individual and group
photos and took the time to meet and talk
The coaching clinic was another successful
event conducted by Onkaparinga Valley,
and a further investment into its junior
football program and local community, as
well as providing life-long memories for
their young footballers.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Chris
Blowes Relief Fund can do so by accessing
The Hills Football League will be under the
guidance of a new president from next season
following the decision of present encumbent
Glen Sickerdick to step down.
In a letter to affiliated club officials late last week,
Sickerdick outlined he would not be continuing at the end
of his second two-year term at the helm which expires at
the HFL annual general meeting in December.
As per the constitution, board members and executive
position holders are required to re-nominate or be
nominated to stand for a further two-year term.
Sickerdick’s letter tendered his decision to relinquish the
top job in Hills football ranks.
“I feel at this point it is only proper for me to inform that after
a lot of thought and consideration, I am not going to seek
re-election and will not be nominating for re-election at the
annual general meeting in December,” offered Sickerdick.
“Unless otherwise directed by the clubs, at this stage I still
wish to and am prepared to remain as president of the HFL,
fulfilling my current term up to the general meeting, and will
continue to do so with exactly the same enthusiasm and
vigor I have always adopted.
“As stated, I feel it only fitting and right that I inform all of
my intentions now rather than wait until the last minute, so
as to allow time for either someone else to consider taking
on the position as president of the HFL at the general
meeting, or to allow the clubs to canvas and select another
person deemed more appropriate for the position.”
The decision to step down will conclude a long standing
involvement in the HFL executive which has spanned over
12 years, including serving as vice-president for three
years before his four-year presidency.
Sickerdick previously also served as an administrator
at club level, being president at Gumeracha and vice-
president at Lobethal.
While stepping down from HFL duties, partly through
an increasing workload through his SAPOL employment,
Sickerdick will continue to serve at a higher administration
“It is my intention to remain as the Regional Football
Advisory Council member for the Eastern zone, which
incorporates the HFL, Mallee league and Riverland league,
as I feel this is an important position and as a combined
Zone need representation between the affiliated leagues
and the Community Football League,” stressed Sickerdick,
who reflected back at his involvement in Hills football with
a sense of satisfaction.
“I must say I have really enjoyed my time being involved.
“Despite what some people may think, it’s all voluntary
and can have some tough moments, but certainly there
is a sense of reward when you are involved within the
“I would like to think the HFL is in a better state than five
or six years ago ... the Division 1 competition is keenly
contested, the league as a whole is highly regarded and
respected within CFL circles.”
However, Sickerdick has stressed that the future of the
local league is definitely in the hands of the clubs, with
some facing tough future decisions.
“There’s no doubt that the juniors are a problem, but
we are not alone as a league in that situation,’’ noted the
“Clubs should realise that they must work together, not
think about what can be done ... the sooner things are put
in place, the better place the HFL will be.
“Perhaps down the track clubs may well have to consider
mergers and divisions being run independently to cater for
the needs of particular clubs and areas.
“The clubs ultimately set a blueprint on how the competition
should run, but as a board and president, we attempt to set
up the process for the following five to 10 years.
“Unfortunately, some clubs don’t appear to be looking or
accepting of change.
“An example is recently in ratifying some changes as
recommended by the substantial review with the clubs
which was conducted during 2014.
“While voting in the changes, the majority of clubs decided
they would not be implemented until 2017 which in my
opinion is disappointing.
“My recommendation was for the changes to come into
effect next season, but with the delay, I believe some clubs
have now pushed the benefits back to a more drawn out
“Given that scenario, I feel the time is right for someone
else to come on board to lead the league through those
“It gives the scope to perhaps find the right person to
oversee such a situation, make the tough calls and stand
“I wish the local clubs and executive all the best for the
future, and of course will always be a strong ambassador
for the HFL within ranks of the CFL.”
– Jeff Pistola.
Sloane a benefit
President to step down
Adelaide Crows midfielder Rory Sloane with some of the Onkaparinga Valley junior footballers who
attended a special coaching clinic at Balhannah Oval on July 20.
Rory Sloane met Chris Blowes (right), who is recovering from a shark
attack earlier this year, during a special junior coaching clinic held by the
Onkaparinga Valley Football Club.
Images courtesy Jon Abraham.
Hills based junior footballers Ryan Weidenhofer, Mitch Crowden and Jordan Houlahan were
members of the SA Under 16 team which finished runner up in the national championship
carnival staged on the Gold Coast earlier this month. SA defeated Victoria Metro and WA before
losing the title decider against Victoria Country.
Image courtesy Joel Kay.
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