Hawthorn will host its inaugural Inclusion Match when it takes on Gold Coast in Round 22.

The match has been designed to make the football a safe, supportive and fun environment for a broader cross-section of society.

Services like the Afford Sensory Friendly Space, an Auslan interpreter for the big screen and shuttle buses for people with a disability to travel to and from the game will be available on the day.

According to CEO Justin Reeves, the match will be a continuation of the hard work Hawthorn has been doing in the social inclusion space over the last two years. 

“We want everyone to feel safe and included when they head out to watch the football,” Reeves said.

“We recognise that these types of public events can present difficulties for many people, particularly those living with a disability, so we’re working to create a more accessible and inclusive environment.

“As a club, we have a responsibility to ensure every member of the Hawthorn family feels valued, respected and included.

“We’ve made some great strides in the last 24 months, particularly with regards to our AFL Blind and wheelchair teams, but there’s still work to be done in this space and we’re committed to our pursuit of social inclusion.”

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Indeed, Hawthorn’s AFL Blind team has recently kicked off its inaugural season in the VBFL, while the club’s wheelchair football team are into their second year in the VWFL.

The Hawks have also offered the Afford Sensory Friendly Space at all their Melbourne home games, allowing those with sensory sensitivities to enjoy the football in either calming or stimulating zones.

The participants in Hawthorn’s inclusion teams and programs have been provided free tickets to the Inclusion Match.

Footy goers will have the opportunity to try AFL Blind and wheelchair football on the Marvel Stadium concourse outside Gate 7.

The Woolworths AFL playground inside Gate 5 will also have an AFL Blind theme, giving children the opportunity to experience what it’s like to play, while wearing vision impairment glasses.

Click here to purchase your tickets for the Round 22 Inclusion Match between Hawthorn and Gold Coast.

All of Hawthorn’s inclusion programs are made possible by the wonderful support of Afford.