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As part of Active Geelong’s ‘EVERYBODY, EVERY DAY’ movement to make Geelong the most active city in Australia, we want to spotlight the everyday heroes who are changing their lives for the better through physical activity.

All his life, Brendan McCartney has connected with people.

It’s what made him an influential football coach at five AFL clubs – whether it be as an assistant coach at Richmond, Geelong, Essendon and Melbourne or as senior coach at the Western Bulldogs.

But for us at Active Geelong, Brendan’s ability to motivate people makes him an EVERYBODY, EVERYDAY Hero.

Now scaling back his involvement at the elite level, the Geelong resident is trying to make a difference in the lives of as many young people as he can.

When he is not coaching at the Geelong Falcons or helping junior coaches at other local clubs, Brendan is running a football academy in Geelong during the school holidays for teenage girls and boys.

The youngsters come to improve their games and get a football education, but inherent in the program is a passion for physical activity.

“There are a lot of things youngsters at their age are doing with their holidays that don’t involve physical activity,” Brendan said.

“Here, the boys and girls are on the move all day. It’s so good for them and it’s creating good habits that will be so important for them later in life.

“I love being a part of it.”

Developing a lifelong enjoyment for physical activity has never been more critical than it is now. According to recent research, 2 out of every 3 young people in Australia aged between 2 and 17 are not meeting national physical activity guidelines. That’s scary to think about.

The passion for physical activity Brendan is passing on every day has been a part of his life since he was a youngster. And still is today.

Set to celebrate his 60th birthday later this year, the former physical education teacher still dedicates at least one hour each day purely to exercise.

He estimates he would walk at least 80 kms per week, and mixes in a variety of other exercises as simple as daily push-ups and sit-ups at home to specialised sessions with a personal trainer.

“It’s just so crucial to your health,” Brendan said.

“Maintaining your strength, your balance, and all those things – you should never underestimate the importance of physical activity. It becomes so important the older you get.”

 Do you know someone who is an ‘EVERYBODY, EVERYDAY HERO’ when it comes to physical activity? Contact Active Geelong here and help us give them the recognition they deserve for trying to make Geelong the Most Active City in Australia!