Magic Willing to Help Community
By Caitlin Arnold
When one of the players from the Blacktown Magic lost their house to the 2013 bushfire disaster, it was the club who rallied to provide support in his time of need.
Whether it is off or on the field, Blacktown is a club overflowing with an inclusive and encouraging attitude. Though they only joined the Sydney AFL competition in 2012, the young Magic know that including the community is not only beneficial to the local team but as Club President John Clifford explains, imperative to their future success.
“In developing a new club, it is critical to have a positive culture in place and for the players to participate in all facets of the operations of the club,” says Clifford.
“We go to great lengths to involve players, family and friends and we rely on the generosity of our volunteers who support the club.
“Many of the players play an active role in the running of the club and they understand what it takes to have a successful organisation. We also have a core group of volunteers who give of their time and expertise, which no doubt adds to the success of the club.”
With this, Blacktown is not only known for their charity within the group, but also on a wider scale. Tackling common, yet not so commonly spoken about issues such as domestic violence and depression, the Magic lend their name and assistance to various charities that are always in need of a platform to promote.
“We support a number of charities- White Ribbon, Beyond Blue -we have Family Days, Community Days and we have a number of club social events which are all inclusive.”
Also involving themselves in training sessions with local junior clubs Quakers Hill and Whalan, the Magic and their coaching staff believe in returning the favour “ten fold” when it comes to giving back to the community and sponsors who support them financially, as well as from the sidelines every weekend.
As winners of the ‘Swisse Quality Club’ award in 2013, their holistic and family friendly ethos was put on show and with that behind them, it is no surprise that their 2014 campaign has so far proven to be a success.
Currently sitting fifth on the Division Two ladder and fourth on the Division Five ladder, the Magic have approached this season with more than winning on their mind.
“The results so far this year are in line with the expectations of the coaches, the players and the club.
“The teams are very focused on winning and being competitive, and developing the skill levels of the playing group whilst at the same time, creating a culture of mateship and community involvement.”
Clifford praises the efforts of the tireless club committee, and coaching and medical staff in developing the outlook, skills and overall health of their players, ultimately allowing them to play to the best of their abilities.
Considering the non-AFL playing background of many of their team members, Clifford says that the club’s lift into the Division Two competition following their 2013 premiership triumph has been a big step up, yet one they have handled well.
“It is a testament to their athletic abilities and good coaching to be so competitive.
“There are several players from both grades who have been having an outstanding season. None more so than Ben Akmens, Tim Baracz, Kent Weir, Leighton Corr, John Lane, Scott Coombes, Daniel Armstrong and Jared Clifford.”
Currently meeting expectations in terms of club accomplishment, Blacktown will be looking for chances to expand over the coming five years. Hoping to add further senior teams to their club roster, the Magic will also endeavour to form relationships with junior clubs allowing for their continual progression and further premiership success.