NDJFL Scholarship Winners
The most successful Aussie Rules junior development program in North America has undertaken another community initiative. For the first time since the North Delta Junior AFL was formed in 2003 they were able to award two scholarships to graduating players who were planning on attending post secondary school. As part of their mission statement to be good citizens in the community, the British Columbia (Canada) based organisation raised funds for the scholarships.
All players who were eligible for the scholarships were asked to write a letter to the NDJAFL committee stating how footy had affected them and how they had contributed to the league and planned to give back to younger players. From these submissions the two recipients were chosen.
They had one for a male and one for a female player and as it worked out both came from Sands High School in North Delta. Both players were presented with their cheques for CAN$250.00 at their valedictory ceremony by Mike McFarlane, the President of the NDJAFL. Neither player was informed that they had won until they were presented with their cheques on stage while receiving their graduation certificates.
The winners were Conor Macdonald and Kiara Bayley (pictured with McFarlane) who have played in the NDJAFL for 3 and 5 years respectively. The NDJAFL explained that both of the winners were deserving of the scholarships and have begun their post secondary education at Simon Fraser University and Kwantlen College.
Next year the NDJAFL are planning on doubling the number of scholarships to four, which is all part of their plan to continue their association with senior players and hopefully keep them involved in footy.
Mike McFarlane was also able to confirm to us that the NDJAFL have become a part of the Physical Education curriculum at Burnsview High School, another step in becoming integrated with their local communities.The NDJAFL currently has three junior leagues (Under 12, Under 14, Under 17) with four teams in each grade. This year the “Chris Freeman Award” for the Burnaby Eagle’s best player went to NDJAFL product Justin Oertel, the first Canadian ever to win a club B&F (MVP) in the BC Footy League.