Since Aaron passed away the Hawthorn Football Club have been so kind to us as a family. Since then I have been in contact with a lovely woman Dayna, who is the Community Manager for Hawthorn. She was the contact name I was given when Hawthorn donated money to us as a family when Naomi from Seven Cherubs organised a fundraiser.
While we were in Melbourne I wanted to go to the Hawks Nest shop at Waverley Park to do some Christmas shopping for the boys. I knew that Dayna worked at the offices at Waverley Park, and sent her a message to say we would be coming there as we have tried to meet in person in Tassie before but haven't had any luck yet. Unfortunately she had the day off but told me when we got there to ask for her work colleague Georgia, as she would show us around.
We had been to Waverley Park before for a quick look when we visited Melbourne in May, but then we just saw the shop and the ground. I wasn't sure what we would be doing but the boys were very excited when they heard that we were going to have a look around. While we waited for Georgia to come down we had a quick look around the shop and admired the cups.
I could tell why he loved it so much. There was so much to see.
On the way there I was checking Instagram (don't worry I wasn't driving!) and was so excited to see that Hodgey was at the Ricoh Centre working out in the gym. I was hoping that he was going to be there when we got there, but unfortunately we missed him (somebody must've warned him! ;) Kobe cracked me up though when he yelled out 'Mum! Someone is here that you would like to see!' as he showed me the cardboard cutout of him.
It was so cool to see everything, even down to the administration and membership side of things. The only thing we were asked not to take photos of was looking down from the offices into the gym. We were so excited to see a couple of players down there, as well as the coach Alistair Clarkson who was working out. He looked up and saw us in the windows and was lovely enough to wave a couple of times. Harri was fascinated that he was working out and kept asking lots of questions about why the coach would have to work out too.
The boys loved sitting in the meeting room where the team often meets with the coaches. The boys were curious as to why it had comfy chairs and Georgia told them it's because the team spends a lot of time in their reviewing matches and talking tactics. She told us that the team are going to South Africa for their pre-season training.
We got to go into the gym and saw them unpacking all their new gear for the season and got to see where all the coaches offices were.
This is just outside the media center. Apparently Hawthorn are one of the few clubs who have their own studio.
Where the players eat are some awesome windows which are covered with pictures of some of the great players.
One of the coolest parts of the tour was being able to sit in the board room. It looked straight out onto the ground. Georgia was telling us how many Hawks fans put banners and flags out on their balconies from their houses around the ground,during the finals.
The kids loved being able to sit in the chairs and imagined they were making lots of big decisions for Hawthorn.
When Georgia asked the boys what decisions they had made I suggested that Hawthorn should play 14 games in Tassie per year, but Harri decided instead that Jalen was fired :)
The kids were very lucky because at the end of the tour they were each given a 2013 team poster which had been signed by each of the players. It will always be extra special since it is the premiership side.
Thank you Georgia, Dayna and the Hawthorn Football Club for allowing us to have such a special tour. My boys will never forget it.