Kids Saturday Morning Footy Still Going StrongWritten by Wayne Kraska
Kids Saturday Morning Footy in DC ready for its 16th year
A junior kids football program in Washington DC is gearing up for its 16th consecutive year of teaching 6-9 year olds in the DC area about Aussie Rules Football. The program that is run each year by Chris Adams who has lived in the area since 2002, is very similar to the Auskick program run by the AFL in all parts of Australia.
Chris first got involved in USA footy in Wisconsin in 1999 then later moved to DC with his family. An avid Carlton Blues fan it has been a passion of his to grow the Australian game he loves. Chris told USFootyNews this past week, “probably over 1000 kids have gone through the 6 week program ran in the USA summer so far.” Whats is fantastic Chris’ son CJ who started in the program when he was six, has gone on to play men’s team football for the Minnesota Freeze, helping that team win a Div 2 USAFL National title in 2018. CJ also played in Australia in 2019 whilst studying at the University of Sydney and both he and his Dad Chris, helped umpire at the International Cup in 2017.
In the early days Chris was mentored by DC Eagles stalwart and later USAFL President Denis Ryan on how to run the program and with the help of another former USAFL President now back in Australia Mark Wheeler. “Wheels had a role with AFL Victoria when he went home to Australia, and with his guidance it helped the Saturday Morning Footy Program become established and be a stable program since.” Chris also related. Matt and Amy Bishop who were also strong contributors to the DC Eagles and had rolls in the USA National teams at that time, (Matt was USA Revolution coach) also helped Chris run the programs on Saturday mornings.
Interestingly enough the program is free for kids to participate and with the support of some local sponsors and give-ways from AFL teams such as the Adelaide Crows and Freemantle Dockers over the years it continues to be a next to no cost way kids can learn the fundamentals and culture of Aussie Rules Football. “It’s a program that is unique mostly to DC with no other consistent kids programs in the USA that we know of for the 5-9 year old age group.
Our hats are off to Chris Adams, a founder of USFootyNews, to sticking with this program, long after his son CJ had grown, as well as all the volunteering he has completed over the years for USA footy.
You can find out more about the Saturday Morning Football program in Washington DC by visiting the website https://satmorningfooty.com or listen into to an upcoming episode of "Outside 50' podcast.