DARCY VESCIO'S profile transcends all boundaries these days – a case in point, the Republic of Singapore, where the Carlton AFLW forward’s recent presence resulted in 105 girls aged between five and 18 turning out for a football clinic under their watch.
The clinic, overseen by Vescio and the former Carlton player Jessica Jones and supported by AFL Asia, rounded out a two-day program that included speeches by the players to audiences at Singapore’s Australian International School about their career pathways into AFLW.
Michael Stones, Head Coach and General Manager of the Singapore Sharks Football Club and the son of former Carlton Director Barry Stones, said that the clinic registration numbers were “a huge number for a place like Singapore, even though our Auskick program is reportedly the largest anywhere in the world including Australia”.
“Darcy and Jessica were absolutely amazing, and couldn’t have represented the club any better than they did. They had the girls (and many of the Blues supporters who attended) hanging on every word as you can imagine,” Stones said.
“My father Barry, who is currently living in Singapore and can often be seen at Auskick watching his granddaughters Summer and Zoe running around, is a huge fan of Carlton AFLW and Darcy in particular, watching all the games from Singapore.”
Significantly, the Singapore Sharks Football Club and more broadly girls football in Asia is supported through sponsorship by VISY and the Pratt Foundation, and as Stones added the contributions of Vescio and Jones serve to further promote the development of the Australian Indigenous game in the region.
Reflecting on the experience, Vescio said they were taken by the depth and breadth of Singaporean interest in Australian Rules.
“I was blown away that there was a whole community and club centred around footy in Singapore. There is serious growth, which makes you understand just how much the kids, most of them the children of Australians abroad, realise the importance of the game,” Vescio said.
“I certainly felt they were very curious with their questions, particularly in terms of what it takes as an AFLW player. It was really lovely. They seemed like a really awesome group of kids, they were hungry to learn more and they were rapt that Jessica and me came all the way from Australia.”