Like most, it was a tough time missing out on a season and sport you love playing. At the Dragons, it was no different. Mental health battles arose, loneliness was encountered and not being able to see friends was starting to take it’s toll. Amidst the uncertainty and craziness of 2020, the Dragons took innovation head-on and with a helping hand from loyal partners, greater connections were created that we thought weren’t possible.
Weekly ‘Dragons Player Catch Ups’ via Zoom became the norm, as players, coaches and other supporters were able to share what they had been up to and what they’re looking forward to in the weeks to come. Plenty of jokes were told and cooking recipes were promoted but once the footy season started the core of the conversations revolved around the Cats. Selection discussion, ‘How good is Dangerfield!?’ and would hub life be like were just a few of the topics. It was the highlight of the team’s week.
Prior to the AFL season recommencing, the team was able to catch up with several Cats players and fire away a few questions. Not every day you get to chat to some of your role models and create friendships along the way. A big thank you to the Geelong Cats Community Team for organising this and lifting the spirits of the Dragons players.
Just to ensure the players were keeping active, online challenges and training sessions were conducted by the team’s coaching staff. Another way for the team to stay socially connected and showcased that whilst players were in lockdown, there were still opportunities to work on skills and fitness levels.
The Dragons, along with other regional FIDA teams, partnered with ‘All in Sports’ to participate in ‘Futuristic Football’. A phantom fourth-quarter commentary call between two teams, ‘Futuristic Football’ was developed to keep players engaged and hear their name across the airwaves. Commentators, ‘Murph’ and JMac’, kept listeners on the edge of their seats with goals after the siren, ‘speccies’ and events that you normally wouldn’t see on the footy field. A big thanks to Steve Murphy, John McLaurin and the rest of the ‘All in Sports’ team for such a great concept.
Is was an eventful footy season, not in a traditional sense, but the team is very excited to get back out on the field in 2021. The community support of the Geelong Dragons has been tremendous, and it just goes to show that footy is so much more than kicking a footy around, it’s everything else that comes with it.