Hawthorn will host its annual Inclusion Match when it takes on West Coast at the MCG this Sunday.
Celebrating every member in the Hawthorn family, the match has been designed to make the football a safe, supportive and fun environment for a broader cross-section of society.
Ned Brewer-Maiga, Hawthorn’s AFL Blind captain will be kicking off the day with a pre-game Blind AusKick Clinic on field.
The AusKick Clinic provides opportunities for school aged children with visual impairments, to play sport in an inclusive and accessible format.
Both the club’s Wheelchair and Blind AFL teams will also partake in pre-game activations including the Guard of Honour and as Flag Waivers.
Much-loved Hawthorn AFL Blind player Cebby Johnson will be presenting the Round 18 match ball.
Two Football Integration Development Association (FIDA) players will also partake in quarter time activations with sponsors KFC and iiNet.
Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said it was important the club did its part to create a safe, supportive, and fun environment for its supporters who attend the football.
“As a club, we have a responsibility to ensure every member of the Hawthorn family feels valued and respected,” Reeves said.
“This Sunday’s match provides an opportunity to empower people of all abilities to ensure they feel included, live well and contribute to their local community.
“We’ve made some great strides in the last few years as a club in this space, but we acknowledge there is still more we can do to create a more accessible and inclusive environment.”
The club will also be celebrating its Inclusion Project officers this weekend.
The program, which has provided employment opportunities to more than 30 individuals, was created to assist supporters with disabilities to a stress-free footy experience in a discreet manner.
The officers welcome people into the stadium, answering any questions patrons may have surrounding the game.
A key component of the match day experience of the program is the Afford Sensory Friendly Space.
The space will be available in the Australian Sports Museum, which is located just inside Gate 3 in the Olympic Stand.
To purchase tickets to the game, click here.
To learn more about Hawthorn’s Social Inclusion Programs, visit https://www.community.hawthornfc.com.au/social-inclusion.
All of Hawthorn’s inclusion programs are made possible by the wonderful support of Afford.