Damon Kerr, a future leader in the making

Over the school holiday period, 180 youth aged players from across New South Wales and the ACT completed the AFL Future Leaders Community Program, organised by AFL NSWACT.

The program was broken into two groups, aspiring leaders (13-15 years old) and emerging leaders (16-18 years old), with both groups completing an online module before participating in three zoom conferences. The topics covered included:

  • Leadership Style
  • Personal Brand
  • Leading through Communication were presented.

The AFL Future Leaders Program was conducted by the Institute of Sport, who AFL NSWACT engaged as a specialist in this field.

South Coast Regional Manager, Matt Graham, was thrilled with the program.

“At the AFL, we not only want our players to become better players, but we want them to become better people. The AFL Future Leaders Program has enabled us to further develop local role models, who will then go back to their clubs and share this knowledge with their teammates.”

AFL Sapphire Coast player, Damon Kerr, from the Merimbula Diggers, was one of the program’s participants, and decided to participate in the program to “not only excel on the field with AFL, but also contribute to the game off the field, by helping with school football programs, umpiring and coaching. I saw this as an opportunity to get a head start in this with this program.”  

Damon found the program invaluable, stating that “I learnt that I can be a leader in any field which I try to pursue. I also learnt to be confident in my abilities and to continue to pursue the goals that I am working towards.”

Damon thoroughly enjoyed talking part in the AFL Future Leaders Program.

“I really enjoyed the group sessions within the program and hearing a wide range of opinions form the other participants. This has helped me better understand how other people have different views on things however it all comes together. Most importantly It showed me that we can all be leaders in different ways.” 

AFL NSWACT facilitated this program as an opportunity to further develop the leadership skills of youth footballers, whilst the football void left by COVID-19 has delayed the start of the 2020 Season.