FAMILY plays a key part in the development of most young athletes.
For many, the motivating factor to begin sport at a young age is the family steering you towards it.
They motivate you to chase after your dreams.
They spend hours teaching you to kick the football, giving you throwdowns in the nets, shooting free throws in the backyard.
Anything it can take to make a young athlete the best they can be.
For some families, they move into coaching their young ones, taking a personal stake not only in their development, but in a whole team’s development.
This story is one that fits the Eishold family perfectly.
Simon Eishold loves sport, believing it is essential to any young person’s life.
‘‘I always think sport kept me on the straight and narrow,’’ he said.
‘‘I like to see young people involved in sport because it gives them something that they can do that will keep them invested and enjoying themselves.’’
Eishold has a sporting career behind him, having formerly played VFL/AFL football at Melbourne and Richmond, before coming to Echuca to start his coaching career.
Eishold and his wife Tonya, who is from Kyabram, have since had three children — Georgie, Lucy and Meg — all of whom were bitten by the sporting bug.
‘‘We love getting out there and playing as much as we can,’’ Meg said.
‘‘We both play basketball and netball, I play tennis as well,’’ Lucy said.
Simon and Lucy get to play one sport together, both representing Echuca South in tennis.
Simon also coaches the girls at the Echuca Lady Pirates basketball side.
‘‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to get to be involved in their sporting lives,’’ Simon said.
‘‘Sport is such a big part of their lives, which I’m so proud of that they love it so much and since sport played a great role in my life and my development as a young person, I take great pride in getting to be a part of their journey through sport and getting to see how it helps them to grow as people.’’
The family is away over Christmas, off to the United States where eldest daughter Georgie is playing college basketball.
‘‘It’s hard as a parent to have your kids leave and go so far away,’’ Eishold said.
‘‘But that’s the next step in her development as a player. It’s a wonderful opportunity for her and we as a family are so incredibly proud of everything she has achieved.’’
As for Lucy and Meg, they haven’t fully decided if the future of their sporting lives lays at those levels.
‘‘I want to achieve the very best I can at the levels I’m currently playing at,’’ Lucy said.
‘‘That’s what I want to do — be the best I can at whatever level I get to. I love sport and I hope to keep enjoying it and getting as much out of it as I can.’’
For the entire Eishold family, enjoying sport together is the priority.
‘‘It’s great getting to play with him as coach,’’ Meg said.
‘‘You learn a great deal from him in a sporting sense and I think it’s a great that you get to learn from him in a different way to what you would at home.’’
Simon, however, is just happy to spend time with his family.
‘‘It’s just wonderful that I get to spend a lot of time with my kids.’’