Australia's greatest ever football player, Harry Kewell, visited the region and the college as a guest of the High Performance Sports Program during week 5 of Term 2. On Friday 2 June Kewell and his team of coaches from the Harry Kewell Academy (HKA) worked exclusively with soccer students in both the secondary High Performance Sports Program and the Year 4 - 7 IGNITE Program. The exclusive closed masterclass was held on Aston Field at the College and we were lucky enough to have a beautiful, sunny day.
Harry Kewell was hands on and personally involved in shooting drills, even taking part himself in several small sided games and one-on-one coaching with the 35 lucky students over the course of 3 hours. Kewell commenced the session by working with the youngest group where he focused on striking the ball in a shooting drill, a session that he repeated with each of the three groups.
Kewell finished the session taking part in one v ones against students from the college, challenging them to be direct, to focus on the basics and to seize the opportunity presented. At the end of the session every participant was presented with a signed Harry Kewell shirt and had the opportunity to have a photo with soccer star. Kewell commented on the willingness of the students to act on advice given and the standard of the participants.
On Saturday evening, over 250 guests attended 'A Night of Inspiration' in the Barrie Holmes Stadium at the College, with special guests including Harry Kewell, Kevin Milstein from the Reagan Milstein Foundation, Emanuel Saakai, HKA coach and founder of the Lengo Football Academy and current Australian Pararoo, Benny Rouche. In what was an outstanding night, Kewell inspired and entertained while answering questions, engaging the audience and participating in some fun games and auctions.
All HPSP and IGNITE students were invited to attend a half an hour Q & A session with Kewell in the PRC Lecture Theatre prior to the gala dinner. In addition to this, 25 of the HPSP students stuck around for the evening, serving dinner and dessert to all guests and watching the interviews with Kewell.
Overall, it was a highly successful weekend, with many members of the college community assisting with the preparation and execution of all events across the two days. It is hoped that the relationship between the Harry Kewell Academy and the High Performance Sports Program will be able to continue into the future.