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Brad Karafil - Westfield Local Heroes 2020

Coaching team sport and life skills

Kardinya Suns Junior Football Club
Supportive. Authentic. Enthusiastic.

On and off the field, volunteer AFL coach Brad Karafl is teaching his Year 11 and 12 players life skills, inclusivity and teamwork.

With his reputation for being hard but fair, Brad has been a respected coach at Kardinya Suns Junior Football Club for 12 years.

The award-winning coach led his boys to premierships in 2016, 2017 and 2018. But it’s not all about winning. Brad’s mantra is “today’s boys, tomorrow’s gentlemen”.

He promotes cultural diversity and acceptance and sees team sport as a great way to teach teenagers invaluable lessons they can take into their careers and relationships.

“I like to think I facilitate emotional growth and development in young people,” Brad says.

For example, he encourages his players to set short-term and long-term gaols. Another focus is on helping the boys to become more in tune with their feelings.

“I regularly facilitate mental health sessions in the team. I encourage reflection and gratefulness and our boys are becoming more in tune with their feelings and also identifying the feelings of others,” says Brad.

“I aim to cater for the needs of all involved in our youth program, and everyone feels valued to a point where all players buy into common goals.”

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Kardinya Suns Junior Football Club will use its grant to buy training tops, playing jumpers and shorts for players as well as equipment.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here

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