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Hawk’s in the running for best teammate

Mitch Ryan, April 28, 2021 6:30PM Herald Sun

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Hawk Hodkinson, 13, ran 7.5km to get to his game with Highett Football Club after his coach forgot to pick him up. Picture: Andrew Henshaw media_cameraHawk Hodkinson, 13, ran 7.5km to get to his game with Highett Football Club after his coach forgot to pick him up. Picture: Andrew Henshaw


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A junior footballer has been awarded a special Anzac Day medal for running 7.5km to get to his game after his coach forgot to pick him up.

Hawk Hodkinson was eagerly waiting outside his Victorian home for a lift on the morning of Sunday, April 25 — but it never arrived.

He considered asking his mum to drive him, but decided against it because the paramedic was asleep after finishing a 14-hour night shift.

With only 10 minutes to go until he was due on the field, the Highett Junior Football Club player took things into his own hands and started running.

“(The game) was quite important for me because they are my team and I didn’t want to let them down,” Hawk said.

The centre-back arrived just before halftime and played the rest of the match.

The 13-year-old, who navigated* using Google Maps, said he was undeterred* by the long journey.

“I didn’t have any issues but it was pretty annoying because I had to carry a 5kg bag around,” he said.

Long Walk to the Footy media_cameraHawk Hodkinson, was awarded a special Anzac Day medal by his coach for his determination to get to his match. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

His late entrance confused his teammates, much to Hawk’s amusement.

“(During the game) one of my mates was like, ‘where did you come from?’ and I said, ‘I dunno, heaven?’,” he said.

Hawk’s apologetic* coach honoured* him with a special Anzac Day medal for embodying* the spirit of the Diggers*.

Club president Jason McGrath said Hawk was an inspiration to his teammates.

“He didn’t seek any apologies or anything like that,” Mr McGrath said.

“He was a little ripper. The team has had a couple of big losses so we will use that to lift their spirits.

“It was a selfless* act for the footy club and his mates.”


  • navigated: found the way
  • undeterred: not put off
  • apologetic: being sorry
  • honoured: given great respect
  • embodying: showing, representing
  • Diggers: nickname given to Australian and New Zealand soldiers
  • selfless: putting others first, not thinking about yourself


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  1. How far did Hawk run?
  2. Why did he have to run to his match?
  3. Which club does Hawk play for?
  4. What special medal was he awarded by his coach?
  5. How did he find the way to his match?


1. A rollercoaster of emotions
Reading this story, you can imagine the rollercoaster of emotions that Hawk might have felt throughout each stage of this event. Write down your three best words (so 18 in total) to describe how you think Hawk felt:

  • while he was waiting for his lift (before he realised they had forgotten him)
  • when he realised he had been forgotten
  • when he made the decision that he was going to run to the ground
  • while he was running there
  • when he finally arrived at the ground
  • once he was out on the ground playing with his team mates

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English

2. Extension
How far is 7.5 kilometres? First, use Google maps to locate a well known landmark that is approximately 7.5km from your home or school. This will give you a better understanding of how far Hawk ran.

Then, time yourself running a lap around your school oval. (Let’s estimate this distance as 400 metres). How many laps around your school oval would make 7.5km? How long would that take you to run?

Finally, work out how far 7.5km is in metres, centimetres and millimetres.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity 
Curriculum Links: English; Mathematics; Health and Physical Education

Proper Noun Police
A proper noun is a noun that names a particular person, place or thing. It always has a capital letter.

How many proper nouns can you find within this article? Find them all and sort them into the category of name, place, time (date/month).

Can you find any proper nouns included in your writing?

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