Children living in Cooktown will soon have the opportunity to play football on a regular basis, as local resident and school teacher David Lang is hoping to set up an Aldi MiniRoos Kick-Off program for the community.
Currently with no football club in the town, David’s son Jack only plays football during school holidays and at ALDI MiniRoos clinics, which is where Football Queensland (FQ) got to meet the family.
The Langs made the three hour trip to Mareeba for the clinic as part of FQ’s ALDI MiniRoos Road Trip so Jack could participate, play football and learn some new skills.
“It was so fantastic the other day to have the opportunity for him to play,” Lang said.
“He just couldn’t stop smiling.
“Every morning since he has been out practising.”
The father and son duo are both passionate footballers, with David following the game since he was 12 years old and his son an avid Brisbane Roar fan, so his father is looking forward to giving his son the chance to play frequently.
“My son just loves football,” Lang said.
“He is just so passionate and talks about Brisbane Roar all the time.
“He is so excited to have a chance to play with friends, do it after school and play on a Saturday.”
The ALDI MiniRoos Kick-Off program that David is hoping to implement will consist of him teaching six to 11 year old children the basics of football by running one or two sessions a week with them.
For David it’s all about giving the children in Cooktown a chance to try something different, learn new skills and have some fun in the process.
“Giving the kids up here who come from a variety of backgrounds and socio-economic statuses the ability to come together and develop new skills is something quite powerful,” Lang said.
“You can get a goal, you pass the ball to someone and you have instant success and celebration, that’s the beauty of football.”
The program will act as a launching pad for football in the remote town, with David having his eyes set on starting a football club in the town, playing weekend matches and ultimately holding a town versus town weekend.
“I’d like this year to do the MiniRoos Kick-Off program and then hopefully next year start it up into an actual club in town, that maybe plays a few games between themselves,” he said.
“Then who knows, maybe play against other towns.
“I know Weipa has a club and I would love to have a Weipa versus Cooktown weekend which would be fun.”
If your town or community doesn’t currently play football and you have a passion for teaching children the game like David, please contact FQ to receive assistance on how to introduce an ALDI MiniRoos Kick-Off program.
Words: Zoe Nilsen