Four NSW clubs win ultimate AFL experiences

Silver tier winner Camden Cats with GIANTS' head coach Leon Cameron and senior assistant coach, Alan McConnell

Four New South Wales grassroots clubs have celebrated after winning exclusive AFL opportunities this season thanks to the FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program.

The FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program is an initiative driven by Foxtel to support grassroots sport and recognise football clubs and the benefit they deliver to their local community.

As recipients of the Bronze-tier award FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program, Port Macquarie Magpies and the Wallsend Swans Football Club won the opportunity to travel to the GIANTS’ Learning Life Centre facilities to be hosted for a tour and coaching seminar with GIANTS’ senior coach, Leon Cameron.

Silver Tier award winners, the Camden  Cats Senior AFC and Western Magic AFC won half day visits to the GIANTS and Sydney Swans’ training headquarters respectively. The half-day visits included observing the senior squad train, a tour of the facilities, as well sitting in on team and coaches meetings with the AFL club’s coaching staff.

Please see below the community initiatives that saw both clubs recognised by the FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program.

Western Magic AFC (Silver Tier)

  • The Western Magic have been proud supporters of the White Ribbon Australia and beyondblue foundations, by annually holding their Ladies & Family Day, plus their Sports Golf Day to raise funds directly for both charities
  •  The club also supports the ‘beyondblue Sock Round’, to raise funds and awareness for mental health amongst men and also the ‘Pink Sock Round’, raising funds for breast cancer awareness and research
  • Crucially, Blacktown is the largest LGA for Indigenous population in Australia, with the Magic working closely to support members of their indigenous community within their football club. They proudly wear the community’s local indigenous designs on their jumper as a sign of this relationship

Camden Cats Senior AFC (Silver Tier)

  • The Camden Cats Senior AFC identified the opportunity this year to join with the Camden/Wollondilly Domestic Violence Committee as the club’s official Community Partner, to help raise funds and awareness in improving service delivery to women and children experiencing domestic violence in their local government areas
  •  The club has been proactive in implementing the ‘SayNo2DV’ campaign, displaying signage and anti-DV messages at all our home matches, distributing awareness material in the local community and having all players take and sign the White Ribbon Oath
  • With the goal to raise $50,000 over the next three years, all proceeds from the club’s Ladies Luncheons and black-tie events will go towards the Camden/Wollondilly Domestic Violence Committee – a 300% increase in their average funding

Port Macquarie Magpies (Bronze Tier)

  • Just this summer, the Magpies established a summer football academy that ran for 12 weeks, with the plan to involve players in the local community who had drifted away from the sport and try and entice them back into AFL
  • In an area that is not traditionally AFL heartland, the benefit has seen players who were not playing in a local team returning to the code and helping to establish a new club in the area. Additionally, Port Macquarie’s establishment of the under 9 competition has helped to dramatically increase retention of players from Auskick programs

Wallsend Swans (Bronze Tier)

  • Wallsend carry out their mission of being an inclusive and community-orientated club by actively encouraging and teaching the game of Australian Rules Football to the children and families of the western Newcastle Area
  • The club supports and sponsors several local indigenous players as well as players who come from the lower socio-economic areas to encourage them to focus on themselves, meanwhile teaching them the benefits of team work, health, fitness and friendship

GIANTS’ head coach, Leon Cameron, who began his football career at a grassroots level with the South Warnambool Football Club in the Hampden Football League, said local football clubs are the backbone of the community.

“Grassroots clubs have an enormous role to play for their local town and its members, so we’re delighted to help reward these local clubs for their community support,” Cameron said.

Bronze-tier award FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program winners, Port Macquarie Magpies and the Wallsend Swans with GIANTS’ coach Leon Cameron

Silver-tier winner, Western Magic with Sydney Swans coaching staff