Harri woke up early and couldn't wait to get dressed. All morning he kept saying 'why is this day going so slow!?'. It was finally time to head to the game and Harri couldn't wait to get there. It was so nice to see some people that we know from the kids ward who were collecting money for Give Me Five For Kids.
When we arrived we met Emma who works for Hawthorn, who we already know. She took us straight to the Hawks changing rooms and let us spend some time in there watching them warm up. The boys that thought was so cool, and loved watching their pre-game routine.
Harri was mesmerised watching his heroes.
He was lucky to be given some socks, shorts and a top that matched what the players were wearing that day, and he even got to keep them! He went and got changed, and was then ready to run through the banner with them.
He was so nervous and kept asking lots of questions about what he had to do, and where he had to run. Emma was great at explaining it all to him and letting him know that he didn't have to worry, and that she would be waiting for him after he had run through and would walk back with him.
Jay and Harri were lucky to be in the guard of honour as the Hawks ran past. They were given matching tops to wear too, but they didn't get to keep them.
The Hawks started coming out and it was finally Harri's turn to run through the banner with them.
It was lovely to watch some of the players ruffle Harri's hair or give him a pat on the back before he ran through with them. I don't think they would've even known why he got to run through with them or what has happened.
Emma told Harri that they would do a little bit of stretching and he could wait with them and then he should look out for her, so he could run back over to her.
Emma also grabbed some of the banner for him to keep, which he is so excited about.
It was so nice seeing him so happy and excited about it.
It was then my turn to go out to the middle and toss the coin. Brayley who also works for Hawthorn explained to me how it all worked and walked me out to meet the umpire. The umpire then introduced me to the captain of GWS and he was lovely and told me his name was Callan as we shook hands.
He then went to introduce me to Hodgey and said 'this is Lisa' and Hodgey and I just smiled at each other as I'm sure he already knew that I knew who he was (especially since I had his number on the back of my geurnsey!) and I shook his hand and laughed and said 'Hodgey' :)
The umpire joked with me about not having a dodgy coin, as someone a few weeks back had a double sided coin which was heads both sides! I was expecting that they would have some kind of AFL coin, but I was just given a regular 20 cent piece from Brayley to use.
The captain of GWS called 'tails' and it was heads which meant Hodgey won the toss. I didn't even have to rig it :)
Before I got to the stadium I was feeling very nervous, but once I got there I was just excited for the boys and knew that it would be fun. I just hoped I didn't trip over or do something silly, so I was glad when it was over and I knew I didn't make a fool of myself. Supposedly they also announced over the microphone that I was tossing the coin, but I was too excited about getting to shake Hodgey's hand, that I didn't hear it ;)
We then headed over to our seats to sit with my Mum and Aaron's Dad to watch the game.
The game was a good one with Hawthorn winning easily, which is what was expected since GWS is still a new team to the AFL.
After the game we were excited that the crowd was allowed to go on the ground to have a kick. Harri was hanging out for it all day and it was fun watching the boys in the crowd of hundreds of others, kicking the ball around. It was just as the sun was setting and the clouds looked beautiful over the stadium.
We had the best day and know how lucky we were to have an experience of a lifetime. Tonight Harri was really emotional about it and actually came out of bed crying. I asked him why he was sad and he said he wasn't sad but felt like he was really special, because he got to do something so special today. I told him he was special and reminded him how lucky he was that he got to do it. I could tell that he really understood how special it was and know he'll never forget that he got to run on the ground with some of his heroes.