Stars helping grow the game

Aaron (left) and Dyson Heppell will be at North Dandenong on Saturday night to show their support. Picture: SUPPLIED.

By Nick Creely

The North Dandenong Junior Football Club are hosting a sportsman night on Saturday 28 July at Lois Twohig Reserve, to raise funds to help grow the game in Sri Lanka.

A joint venture between the club and the Sri Lankan Aussie Rules Team (AFSL), Essendon skipper Dyson Heppell, and his brother Aaron – a star with Essendon’s VFL team – as well as prominent Collingwood cheersquad member Joffa Corfe, will be in attendance on the night to share some laughs and do their part to grow the game.

The funds raised on the night for AFSL will be used to grow the game back in Sri Lanka through clinics and player engagement at schools, with Carlton players (Harry McKay and Ed Curnow) in the past going over to participate in clinics.

North Dandenong Junior Football Club committee member and AFSL secretary Janahan Kumaralingam also shared some exciting news about the clinics in Sri Lanka coming up in October.

“So we’re taking Dyson Heppell and his brother Aaron over this October (to Sri Lanka) and we’ll re-do that process of going to all the high schools, and try and get the kids to keep playing,” he said.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to keep kids involved, and we’re very lucky to have them involved.”

North Dandenong and Sri Lanka have a strong connection, and have been working hard together to grow the game in the region and overseas, as shown by their involvement in last year’s International Cup in Melbourne.

The concept of the International Cup began in 2002, and has since become globally recognized as the game starts to make waves overseas.

“We participated in the International Cup last year, so we’re just waiting for the next tournament, which is exciting,” Kumaralingam said.

“Sri Lanka’s got a lot of expats, so the game is kind of played through them as well, and that’s basically our goal to grow the game.”

There is still a chance to come along on Saturday night, and Kumaralingam encourages everyone to get behind the club and the AFSL as they look to flourish into the future.

“We’ve got some tickets available – it’ll be great for everyone to meet Dyson, and his brother Aaron, and have some fun and raise some funds for Sri Lanka, and for the North Dandenong Junior Football Club,” he said.

If anyone is interested in tickets, contact Anurudda Fonseka on 0401 241 336 or Janahan on 0403 259 107.