Georges River Network Inclusion Gala Day a hit! 

More than 100 primary school students descended on Hurstville Public School for the first ever Georges River Network Inclusion Gala Day.

Students with disabilities from Penshurst Public School, Penshurst West Public School, Peakhurst Public School and Hurstville Public School were all delighted to be involved in a day of fun and footy.

More than a dozen AFL NSW/ACT staff ran games and programs throughout the day, tailoring each to suit the needs of the participants.

Sydney Swans AFLW players attended including Cyggy the Swan!



Mark Steed, Hurstville Public School’s Principal and the architect of the event, said: “The concept of bringing students with disabilities together from across Georges River Network of public schools was borne from the collaboration between Hurstville Public School and AFL NSW/ACT.

“Our two organisations recognised that there were no clearly identified pathways within the local community for children with disability or their families to actively engage in sport and physical skills development.  

“While sporting codes and community organisations continually talk about inclusion, it is rare that their words and their subsequent actions align to produce tangible experiences for students with disability. 

“We want all young people with disabilities and their families to know that they are the main game, not ever a secondary consideration by schools or AFL NSW/ACT.”

Simon Wilson, Diversity Manager for AFL NSW/ACT was grateful for the enthusiasm of schools and students attending, and suggested it could be the blueprint for more, similar events. “Today’s Inclusion Gala Day gives these kids a taste of Auskick and our Kickability program. It’s clear everyone’s had a lot of fun and I’m proud the AFL can deliver such an experience,” he said.

“I hope this Gala Day can grow across different parts of Sydney, NSW and Canberra because our game is for everyone, and this is a great opportunity for children with disability to have a go of AFL and hopefully continue enjoying the benefits our sport has to offer.”