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Sydney Swans honour best friends for outstanding display of mateship

David Campbell, September 6, 2017 6:55PM News Corp Australia

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Best mates Mark and Jarryd at Swans training. Picture. Phil Hillyard media_cameraBest mates Mark and Jarryd at Swans training. Picture. Phil Hillyard

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THE Sydney Swans have tracked down two young friends who captured the hearts of the sporting public two weekends ago with an outstanding act of mateship*.
The two boys attended the Sydney Swans round 23 match against Carlton at the SCG but when their radio went dead 12-year-old Jarryd Haines took it upon himself to provide a running commentary of the match for his blind friend Mark Smith, 13.

Jarryd’s gesture, as well as the professional nature of his commentary which reportedly rivalled* that of the professionals, warmed the hearts of spectators sitting near them.

“We were giving Mark something so he could listen to the commentary and that didn’t work in the second quarter so I just decided to call the game for him,” Jarryd said.

Mark has been blind for the past four years because of cancers in his brain and spine.

While he can no longer watch the footy, he loves going to games because of the feeling he gets from the roars of the crowd and sounds of the game.

The Swans run through their banner. Picture: Cameron Spencer media_cameraThe Swans run through their banner. Picture: Cameron Spencer

Much to the friends’ delight the Swans carved Carlton up 138-57 in the final regular season fixture of the year.

When the Swans heard about the two boys the club reached out on social media in a bid to track down the die hard fans and provide them with some VIP experiences.

Mark and Jarryd at the Swans training. Picture. Phil Hillyard media_cameraMark and Jarryd at the Swans training. Picture. Phil Hillyard

A week of searching came to an end on Tuesday when Jarryd and Mark visited the SCG to meet the Swans playing group and kick a ball around on the hallowed* turf.

The boys will also get the honour of running through the banner with the Swans at Saturday’s home elimination final against Essendon.

“It’s been amazing. I met all the players and I’ve loved it,” Mark said.

Swans supporter Jonathan Drennan kicked the search off after sitting near the boys during the Carlton match and imploring* the Swans on Twitter to find them.

“I guess I heard a beautiful thing and we heard this amazing commentary so I tweeted it and here we are at the SCG with two amazing boys,” Mr Drennan said.

“It just shows the power of social media and the power of the football community.”

GLOSSARY

mateship: friendship
rivalled: contested

hallowed: sacred

i mploring: asking

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CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1. A special invitation

Create a mock-up invitation from the Sydney Swans to Jarryd and Mark, inviting them along to the VIP experiences mentioned in the article.
The invitation should tell Jarryd and Mark when and where they are invited and what will happen while they are there, as well as a brief explanation of why they have been chosen for this special treat.


Extension:

Even though he is unable to see the action, Mark enjoys going to the football because there are lots of things for his other senses to experience.
Make a list of all of the things that can be heard, smelt, tasted and felt at the football.

If you have never been to a football match you can choose a different event or venue instead like a picnic or a visit to the circus.

Curriculum links: English, The Arts — Visual Art

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity

Activity 2. Being a good friend

Jarryd’s actions were those of a good and thoughtful friend, something we should all strive to be.

Work with a partner and come up with a list of dos and don’ts for being a good friend.
Tick off all of the items in the do list that you think you are good at already and choose one that you are going to try to become better at.


Extension:

Write an acrostic poem for the word FRIENDS.

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Personal and Social Capability

EXTRA RESOURCES

AFL BOUNCE COULD BE THROWN OUT

CAHILL’S SOCCER ACADEMY NOW IN SCHOOLS

HOLA! AFL UNITES COMMUNITIES

COUNTRY FOOTY STAR KICKS 100

WOMEN PICK UP THE WHISTLE

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