Hawks help heal the pain

THE look on Jett Hill's face said it all.

A look of unbridled joy after being told that he will be getting the opportunity to get up close and personal to some of his football heroes, including his favourite Cyril Rioli, next month when he will be Hawthorn's ``No.1 fan'' for its round 14 match with Collingwood at the MCG.

It is a rare bright spot for the eight-year-old from Perth after a tumultuous six months following the sudden death of his father, Adam.

Jett's passion for the Hawks is something he got from his dad.

That passion will be overflowing on Friday, June 20, when he attends Hawthorn training at Waverley Park as the players' "water boy".

Twenty-four hours later Jett will get to enter the Hawks' rooms prematch and will then watch the game with his family from a private function room.

Amber and Jett Hill in Launceston yesterday.

Amber and Jett Hill in Launceston yesterday.

Hawthorn will pay for the family's flights and accommodation.

Jett received the news in front of about 400 of his schoolmates at Sacred Heart Primary School yesterday, with his sister and fellow Hawks supporter Amber, 6, by his side.

Principal Matt Jones read out a letter written to Jett by Rioli, which was followed by a rousing applause of support.

The trip was in part organised by family friend Gavin Devine, after Jett missed out on seeing Rioli at a community camp in Launceston earlier this year.

A still beaming Jett said his first trip to Melbourne would be a "dream come true".

"I had little idea and thought I would be just be going to Melbourne [to watch football]," he said.

"It will be pretty exciting and really fun.

"Cyril has always been my favourite player, because he's good in the forward line and in the midfield, and he always gets those sneaky goals, but I'd also like to meet Jack Gunston, Josh Gibson and Jarryd Roughead as well."

Mum Lyndal described yesterday as "bitter-sweet" considering what her family had been through.

"It's bitter-sweet as this wouldn't be happening if his dad was still here, but it is a fantastic opportunity for him," she said.

"This [trip] is very important for him, as he needs role models as his dad is no longer here.

"We're looking forward to it as a family, as the kids will be able to enjoy themselves, as they really need some pleasure in life as it has been a tough six months."

If you need help or counselling contact Lifelink Samaritans 1300 364 566, Lifeline 131 114, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800, MensLine Australia 1300 789 978, or the StandBy Response Service 24-hour number on 0408 133 884.   


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