West Coast may have had their struggles on-field in 2017, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t having a big impact off it.
Led by back-to-back Coleman medalist Josh Kennedy, the Eagles have donated $5000 to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Western Australia (MSWA) — their second donation of the season following a commitment to Ronald McDonald House earlier this year.
MSWA are a non-government, not-for-profit organisation aiming to offer support for those with neurological conditions, while providing funding to help researchers.
Speaking to AFLPlayers.com.au, Eagles delegate Luke Shuey discussed just how instrumental the key forward has been in the decision.
“Josh Kennedy has been the lead ambassador for four or five years now,” Shuey said.
“He does a lot of work with them off his own bat by donating money throughout the year.
“When I became delegate he was the first person I went to and asked if they would like to be the club’s chosen charity.
“One reason was because of who Josh is and the impact he has had on football as a whole and our footy club.
“He’s done a lot in the community over his 10 or 11 years in the competition so given how invested he is at the MS Society I thought he deserved first look for his charity.”
AFL Players Care is the players’ official charity initiative and was established in 2014 with players contributing $50 per player, per game.
$180,000 of this fund is then equally distributed among all 18 male AFL clubs each season giving each team the opportunity to support one or two charities of they are passionate about.
With players so often drawn up in meetings and training sessions throughout the week, Shuey said providing help to charities can provide a distraction.
“You might come off an absolute stinker of a game — then have a hospital visit — and it can give you a wake-up call,” he explained.
“It gives you a great perspective on things, it helps you keep level headed throughout the year.
“The whole club would get a kick out of knowing they are having an impact.
And Shuey is a firm believer of players making the most of their time in the spotlight.
“We don’t ask to be looked up to by kids and by footy fans but because of that I think we have a great opportunity that we should embrace to help people in the community, help set a good example and be role models,” he said.
“I think any chance you get to help out people who are suffering or under privileged is time well spent.”