Frankston Times 29 March 2022

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Back in the game: Coach Marc Bressan revs up participants from the MPJFL Academy. Picture: Supplied

Junior footy looks to reconnect after covid Liz Bell COMMUNITY sport is about to make waves on the Mornington Peninsula again, with the Mornington Peninsula Junior Football League in the process of building its numbers and reconnecting with schools for a great season ahead. The league’s administrator, Ben Lawrence, said sport had taken a huge hit over the last few seasons, and the league was in a fight to keep partici-

pation rates at a steady number. It is about to roll out a project called the MPJFL School Network, which involves interacting with schools to promote the benefits of playing organised community sport. Mr Lawrence said the MPJFL was a community-focused organisation committed to creating positive experiences for junior participants, and tangible participation outcomes for clubs, like it has done for 51 years. “As we come out of covid, our league and our clubs are always looking for new players to sign up and

play football within the MPJFL,” he said. The league is made up of 14 clubs that stretch across the peninsula and offers age groups from under 9s (starting at 7) to under 17s boys and under 18s girls. Mr Lawrence said playing organised community sport came with many benefits for children and young adults, teaching important life skills and greatly impacting on participants physical, emotional, social, and mental health. “To be proactive and try to stimu-

late registrations, we are launching the ‘MPJFL School Network’, which is a program that has been offered to all schools in the Mornington peninsula region,” he said. “The MPJFL School Network is our way of establishing relationships with schools on the Mornington Peninsula and we are extremely excited to roll it out in the coming weeks.” Mr Lawrence said the ‘School Network’ was the starting point in having more interaction with schools, and provided schools at no cost with promotional material, MPJFL

footballs, facilitation of a coaching workshop for PE department staff, and a three-week curriculum-based program labelled the ‘MPJFL Footy Carnival’, which will lead into Round 1 and hopefully generate interest. “This is an extremely important time period for community sport, and we need to ensure that kids in our region are getting active and playing organised sport,” he said. Anyone looking for a club, or wanting more information about playing footy, can visit clubs /

Noonan’s fly flag for locals on Cup day HORSE RACING

By Ben Triandafillou IN a rarity for the Mornington races, it was looking as though no Mornington-based trainer would get a win at the feature Mornington Cup meeting on Saturday 26 March until the local Tony Noonan stable struck glory in the last. Despite jumping as a $20 outsider in the field, the consistent It’s Tornado Storm flew the flag for the locals swooping around the field to win comfortably by two lengths. In front of a crowd of 5,000, trainer Tony Noonan was ecstatic to get the result on Cup day with his son, Jake Noonan, also riding the winner. “A local horse hadn’t won all day and it’s always been a special day this,” Tony Noonan said post-race. “It was always a good day even when it used to be on the Wednesday, but it has (gone to another level). It’s a terrific track, it’s a terrific club and I’m just so thankful we were able to win one.” Noonan has had the five-year-old gelding in his care since March last year and has missed the placings just once in those nine starts. He put the consistent performances down to the hard work done behind the scenes. “My staff have done just a super job,” he said. “It’s a big fairytale type


Frankston Times

of result... it doesn’t always happen. They put in a lot of work behind the scenes. They spoiled him rotten and there’s a good reason for it.” In the feature $300,000 Mornington Cup (2400m), the Chris Wallertrained Crystal Pegasus fought off the race-favourite Pondus in the straight to cement his spot in the spring’s Caulfield Cup. The five-year-old gelding continued the successful run of European imports in the Mornington Cup, with them also winning the previous two editions of the race (Mount Popa, 2021 and Aktau, 2020). The European imports provided the trifecta in this year’s Cup which saw a field of seven lineup. The other feature on the day, the Listed Hareeba Stakes (1200m) was taken out by a roughie, Not an Option ($41), who camped behind the speed and fended off the challenge of the race-favourite Superium to win by a length. It continued the hot run of trainer Michael Moroney and jockey Patrick Moloney who combined to win the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap a fortnight ago.

Winners are grinners: Morningtonbased trainer Tony Noonan and son Jake Noonan combine to win the last race on Mornington Cup day. Picture: Supplied.

29 March 2022

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