Young Amity follows in dad and grandfather's footy tradition
WHILE many clubs claim to be family focused, it's a fine feat to have three generations all involved.
When the 2016 season begins in April, young Amity Watts will join her father Duarn and grandfather Rex at the Collingwood Park Power Aussie rules football club.
The five-year old will have big shoes to fill with Duarn one of the Power's most consistent players in the senior grade and captain for the past seven years.
Amity will begin her Aussie rules training with an introduction through the Auskick program today.
Over six weeks, Amity will join primary school students aged from five to 12 to learn the basics of kicking, marking, handballing, and bouncing through activities and modified games.
At the end of the program, Amity will take her place with the Collingwood Park Power U6s as the third generation of Watts to join the club ranks.
Grandfather Rex Watts joined the club as a coach when Amity's father Duarn started playing 20 years ago. Today he is the club CEO and coach of the senior team.
Watts said there had been a big push across the country to encourage young girls like Amity to get involved with the sport.
"The AFL has really opened it up for the girls," Rex Watts said.
"I think it will be fantastic for the sport, each year they are bringing the girls competition to younger grades and as they get older it is better to have their own competition to compete in.
"There's definitely more and more girls getting involved, the interest is right there and there's plenty of talent."
Watts said Amity would feel at home at Collingwood Park.
"She usually comes down to the footy with her dad and have a run around," he said. "She gets right involved and is very keen."
The experienced coach said while the club is family orientated, to have three generations all involved with the club was unusual.
"You don't normally get three generations involved, usually it's a father and son or something like that but to have three is a bit special," he said.
"It's a legacy now and I can't see myself ever leaving.''
Despite both father Duarn and grandfather Rex both coaching teams with the club, Amity will not be coached by one of her relatives.
"I'm sure Duarn will be involved in some way but it is best not to have parents coach their kids," he said.
"They listen a lot more when someone else is teaching them."
Watts said watching the young players develop was one of the best rewards of coaching.
"Whether they are your own kids or not, you get so much enjoyment out of it," he said.
"It's a great achievement to watch and see them do the things you have taught them.
"We try and make it fun for them but also teach them the skills of the sport, get them involved and learning."
Watts said having a family orientated attitude would help the club grow into the future.
"I'm fortunate enough to have a lot of the guys I have coached along the way turn into coaches themselves," he said.
"In the senior side there are a number of players with kids starting to play in the juniors. It's great to see.
"As a long-term family club, that's how you keep people involved."