Shepparton footballer Tong Tong is in Melbourne this week participating in multicultural programs to develop his skills as a development officer.DAMEN FRANCIS July 17, 2014 3:15am
Budding Shepparton footballer Tong Tong is spending the week in Melbourne to develop his football and skills as a development officer.
Shepparton footballer and AFL Goulburn Murray multicultural development officer Tong Tong is on a fast-track to a bigger role in the sport he is growing to love.
Tong, 20, is in Melbourne this week working with multicultural-focused programs run by North Melbourne Football Club and under the wing of AFL Victoria multicultural projects officer and former Port Adelaide and Melbourne midfielder David Rodan.
AFL GM general manager Martin Gleeson contacted The Huddle — a joint initiative of North Melbourne, Scanlon Foundation and Australian Multicultural Foundation — to investigate the possibility of Tong gaining some invaluable hands-on experience and said it worked out well.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity for Tong to be able to do stuff that he would never have been exposed to before,’’ Gleeson said.
‘‘From our end, it’s part of his development and another step in him learning how to work in the development field, within schools, with kids and how to coach.
‘‘Our ultimate aim is for him to be able to do development activities in schools with a multicultural focus and we think he’s potentially a really good role model for kids in and around Shepparton in particular.’’
The Huddle was established in 2010 to improve social cohesion by systematically addressing the causes of disengagement among young people with programs that target youths from migrant and refugee backgrounds.
Technology, sport, positive education, team building, mentoring and role models are used to challenge and engage, create active community participants and develop young people into leaders.
Tong’s other activities included administrative duties at AFL Victoria headquarters at Princes Park and attending the AFL diversity breakfast on Tuesday morning, which was the official launch of this weekend’s AFL Multicultural Round.
AFL Victoria engagement manager Xavier Moloney said the aim was for Tong to take what he learned in Melbourne back to Shepparton’s diverse multicultural community.
‘‘Part of it is Tong coming down here and just spending time with Dave Rodan and myself and discussing the programs that he can run locally in the future to grow multicultural participation,’’ Moloney said.
Tong grew up in Sudan and moved to Shepparton about seven years ago.
He decided to take up football last year and joined Picola District Football League club Katunga, where he played 16 reserves games.
The budding ruckman joined Goulburn Valley Football League club Shepparton this season.
As part of his week in Melbourne, Tong met and trained with VFL outfit Williamstown on Tuesday night and will do the same with University Blacks tonight.
Tong said he was a Collingwood fan, but admitted he had a soft spot for the Kangaroos and they could become his number-one team after his experiences this week.
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The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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