FEARLESS 2019 – a trip to Briar Hill: A great concept


Hi all, I’ve been taking a while to complete this and email it because I’ve been wondering what to talk about. Many topics have crossed my mind, such as:


  • the predictability of the finals series…yes Tigers fans…it was great but it was predictable
  • the theatre associated with the sudden death final and there were a couple of belters
  • the greatness of Tim Kelly and how did he miss the WA recruiters?
  • the sensational rise of Marlion Pickett from virtual obscurity
  • the GWS making the Grand Final…the good the bad the ugly…maybe it’s what NSW AFL followers required, given that the Swans didn’t make it.


Or even the inane ramblings and enormous over exposure that is trade week…geez what a crock…


All good topics. All worth consideration.


Instead, I wanted to talk about a trip I made twice to Briar Hill. I’d never heard of the suburb, prior to hearing about Boots For All. Let alone knowing where it was, I’d worked off the assumption that it was an outlying satellite of Geelong. No. Briar Hill is a pocket of the Diamond Valley, located next to Montmorency.


The two trips involved taking collections of firstly boots and secondly playing uniforms regarded as surplus to the club, of which I’m a Committee  Member. The boots, runners, rollerblades etc had been collected by the club to distribute to those in need. Playing uniforms likewise. Enter “Boots For All” on Sherbourne Road in Briar Hill. A volunteer organisation where clubs and people can donate re-usable sporting goods for dissolving the barriers to sport across Australia. You can donate new or near-new sporting goods, you can buy online  or in the shop at vastly lower prices. In the shop called Sports For All*, your purchase helps young people get training and employment in the only social enterprise sports store in Australia. In the attached warehouse, there are boxes and I do mean boxes upon boxes of sporting gear ready to be distributed to teams and clubs in any part of Australia looking for equipment ad/or clothing.


The basic ideal is that everyone should be able to participate in the sports of your choice. There are other sports covered also such as netball, basketball and cricket. The idea was borne of local clubs in the area having surplus stock and making it available to those that didn’t have the resources to kit out teams and players. After some struggling times, Australia Post hopped on board as a major sponsor and they found a venue capable of retailing and warehousing. Fortunately next door there was a Vinnies to take the random pairs of school shoes and casual shoes that made it into the collection boxes.


(*Much of this information has been taken from the brochure to accurately explain what happens).


An idea came to fruition and Joanne, the manager, has allowed the business to blossom.


My second visit was accompanied by a quick presentation to everyone there to explain the organisation, the purpose, the shop and warehouse. This happened purely by chance, but I’m happy I stuck around.


If you or your children’s sporting clubs ever want to donate or collect from within to make a larger donation, then get onto the website: bootsforall.org.au

It’s fair to say that it’s a volunteer organisation so don’t ring. There’s a good chance your call may ring out.


Get everyone involved…. On the website, Nelson Mandela is quoted:

“Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”


This can help others and well done to those involved.

Enjoy the non-footy season and whatever that may bring.

Stay well.



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