May 27, 2016
Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh huddles with campers during the first stop on Michigan’s “Summer Swarm” football camp tour at Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday, Jun 4, 2015. Melanie Maxwell | The Ann Arbor News (ANN ARBOR NEWS)
ANN ARBOR – Michigan secured a new partner for its satellite camp in Australia.
The Wolverines, who were originally aligned with ProKick Australia, will team up with the University of New South Wales Raiders Gridiron Club for the Melbourne Gridiron Development Camp on June 3 at the Heatherbrae Reserve.
“It’s an awesome opportunity for the kids to learn more about the sport and it’s awesome that the Michigan coaches were happy to come out and be part of our camp for the University of New South Wales,” UNSW Raiders coach Paul Manera said. “It’s just a great opportunity for the kids and for the community, but also for people that don’t even play the sport of American football, it’s a great opportunity for them to learn more about the sport.”
Michigan was scheduled to partner with ProKick Australia for a camp on June 3 at the Monbulk Soccer Club, but the NCAA defined ProKick as a recruiting agency. ProKick director Nathan Chapman said his organization isn’t a recruiting service and Manera said that’s not the focus of the new camp, which is open to boys and girls age 15 and older of all positions.
“At the end of the day, with Michigan coming down there it’s to help the players with their skills. It’s not a recruiting mechanism or anything like that,” Manera said. “If there are players down there that want to pursue a pathway to play football in the USA, then it’s their responsibility to obviously contact the respective universities and send them film just like any other kid does in the USA. The purpose of this is not for recruiting, it’s just to help people get better and it’s also to introduce the sport of American football in Australia.”
Manera added that the camp will benefit coaches as well as they look to grow the sport.
“It’s not every day that we get an opportunity to get exposure and learn from these coaches because obviously in Australia all the American football coaches are volunteers,” he said with a laugh. “To actually be able to get expert coaching from these guys who actually do it for a living is just an awesome opportunity for the Aussies.”