As the NAB AFL Auskick Ambassador and with over 300 AFL games under his belt, Shane Crawford is at home spreading the word on the benefits of junior footy. Promoting the fun aspects of AFL to kids and highlighting the important support role parents play, Shane is reinforcing the need for families to stay healthy, fit and active. Here, he shares what health means to him and why he makes it a priority.
What did you learn about health, both physical and mental, during your time as an AFL footballer?
Your health is the most important thing that you have. You need to look after yourself in the best possible way. You must always think about a healthy lifestyle by watching your diet and looking after yourself physically. Moderation is the key to life. The mind is the most powerful tool we own and it needs to be trained and exercised as well. Any exercises that can assist in training your mind will contribute to your overall wellbeing.
What restrictions did you have as a footballer that have changed since you retired?
My diet and preparation to play as an elite footballer had to be carefully monitored and managed. Since retiring, the pressure of this has reduced somewhat and I am able to broaden my diet more than my playing years. This works well for me given I have a sweet tooth - but everything in moderation!
Post-AFL careers some footballers continue to be fit and healthy while others don't. Why do you think this is?
When footballers finish their careers as elite sportspeople, they can be mentally and physically fatigued for going as hard as they have for so many years. This is why some players tend to put on weight in the post-playing days.
What do you and your family do to stay healthy?
We love doing lots of physical activities as a family. We enjoy going to the park, taking the dog for a walk, playing NAB AFL Auskick and the kids love their bikes and scooters - I do too!
How can parents promote health to their children?
It's always great to get involved in being active with the kids and showing them that you enjoy getting active with them. During meal times, we work at setting the right example for our kids by eating the right food groups and trying new, healthy options.
How did you get started playing football?
I loved watching footy on TV as a kid and always wanted to play. I am not sure if any of my boys will go on and play AFL at the elite level but they do barrack for the Hawks and their passion for the game is getting stronger and stronger every year.
As an ambassador for AusKick what does your role involve?
My role as the NAB AFL Auskick Ambassador involves promoting the great game of AFL and most importantly encouraging kids to have fun when participating in the game.
Why should parents get their children involved with AusKick?
NAB AFL Auskick makes learning to play AFL fun and easy for boys and girls. Through weekly coaching sessions they will learn the skills of the game just like their AFL heroes.
Do parents need to have been a good footballer to be an AusKick volunteer?
Absolutely not, the parents’ role is to encourage and support their kids and most importantly make sure they're always smiling throughout the clinics. As a parent I am involved as a volunteer at my son’s NAB AFL Auskick center and I encourage you to become one as well.
If you’re interested in getting involved with AusKick, visit aflauskick.com.au