University student Tyrell Hocking is combining his passion for sport and education as the Adelaide Football Club’s latest Indigenous Cadet.

Hocking will work primarily with the Club’s STEMfooty program by supporting teachers across the state in delivering the program.

The second-year student already has classroom experience as a Student Support Officer and in Aboriginal education.

He recently travelled to the Riverland to visit schools and said the impact of the program was incredible.

“Combining sports and footy really engages the kids,” Hocking said.

“They don’t really think about STEM as being interesting, but when you put it in a football aspect, it really puts it in perspective.

“It is great watching them discover the little things they don’t think about, like kicking angles, and understanding concepts that previously didn’t have real life meaning to them.”

Hocking believes this experience will make him a better teacher.

“Every time I go to a school, I have to get up and present in front of a large class, so I’m hoping this experience will make me more confident,” he said.

“It will also boost my knowledge of the different aspects of the curriculum.”

STEMFooty Program Manager Katie Gloede said Hocking has been a great addition to the program.

“Tyrell brings a lot of experience, but still has plenty to learn, and I’m looking forward to seeing him develop throughout the cadetship,” Gloede said.

“Becoming a teacher for the first time can be a very overwhelming experience, but hopefully the experiences he will have this year will give him the skills he needs to thrive.

“Tyrell has a natural connection with students and will make an amazing teacher one day – we are lucky to have him as part of the program.”

Hocking joins the Club through the AFL Sportsready’s Warumilang Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cadetship program, which aims to give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students the opportunity to gain paid employment in a role that relates to their field of study.

Adelaide’s Indigenous Programs Manager, Jeremy Johncock said the program has benefits for Hocking and the Club.

“This cadetship will give Tyrell the chance to gain a professional employment experience alongside his studies while providing our Club with an enthusiastic young professional looking to make an impact in the workplace,” Johncock said.

“It has been great to see Tyrell embrace this opportunity and growing during his time at the Club.”

The Adelaide Football Club is committed to creating more pathways, work experience and mentorship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as an initiative of their Reconciliation Action Plan.