Leisure Networks and AFL Barwon partnership announced

Leisure Networks and AFL Barwon are pleased to announce a new partnership, with Leisure Networks recognised as “The Official Inclusion Partner” to AFL Barwon. As well as continuing to lead development of inclusive opportunities in AFL and Netball, the partnership will strengthen delivery of mental health support to local clubs through the Tackle Your Feelings Program. 

“We are excited by the possibilities this partnership will open up, not just for Leisure Networks, but for the community we support,” said David Meade, CEO Leisure Networks. “Our whole purpose at Leisure Networks is to connect people with community and sport is such an important vehicle to make this happen. As well as the physical and mental rewards we get from playing sport, there’s also all the social benefits. Nothing beats the feeling of comradery and belonging you get from being part of a sporting club. 

“The all abilities footy and netball competitions we support under the AFL Barwon banner have given more people living with disability a lifetime first experience of actively participating in their local club, playing as part of a team,” continued Mr. Meade. “Games are played in a friendly safe environment, which means people of all skill level, all ages and all genders are accepted. It’s all about providing opportunities for people to play sport, people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to without these All Abilities competitions. 

“And as I’ve said, it’s not just about playing sport,” Mr. Meade explained. “Take Sean ‘the Bossman’ for instance. Sean’s been the waterboy at Geelong West Giants for more than a decade. Then last year, thanks to the AFL Barwon Inclusion League, he’s now a team captain at his favourite club.” 

“To be able to put on the Giants jumper, on the footy field,” said Sean. “is something I’ve wanted to be able to do for a long time.”  

“AFL Barwon is proud to have delivered several key community initiatives and engagement opportunities over a long period,” said Edward Wilson, Regional General Manager, AFL Barwon, “and the recent establishment of the first-of-its-kind, multi-sport All Abilities League, is testament to the collaborative partnership between the two organisations 

 “AFL Barwon is extremely pleased with the establishment of this new era in partnership with Leisure Networks, and we’re excited as to what this will deliver for the local community”. 

“The AFL Barwon All Abilities Football Netball League season will kick off with the Netball season starting on April 23, followed by a Football double header at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday April 27, thanks to the support of the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust.”

Leisure Networks respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands and waters of Australia. We are committed to inclusive communities.