The 2015 Annual Report has outlined the benefits, services and programs the AFL Players’ Association makes available to current and past players.
THE AFLPA formally extends it services to all 811 AFL footballers, as well as more than 3000 former players who have taken out Alumni membership, and CEO Paul Marsh said he was proud to reflect upon the work done throughout the past year.
“2015 was a very big year with a number of off-field issues arising, so to sit back and reflect on all the positive outcomes that were still achieved for all members of the AFLPA, is heartening,” Marsh said.
“This year is already off to a flying start and we’re looking forward to continuing to make a difference to the lives of our members over the next 12 months.”
Last season 17 of the 18 clubs utilised the MAX360 program to track and progress the off-field development of their players, with all 18 clubs adopting the program this year. More than 50 per cent of AFL players have used the program to develop written action plans documenting their off-field development.
To further support players in maximising their AFL careers, more than $530,000 in education and training grants was distributed to players and more than 60 wellbeing workshops were carried out at AFL clubs.
The AFL Players’ Association also introduced the first Players and the Game Group, made up of eight footballers who have strong and respected voices within the football community, to provide players with a stronger voice on the future direction of the game.
In another industry first, 600 past AFL players were screened by the AFL Medical Officers’ Association and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience for signs of the long-term effects of concussion, and 50 of these players have been referred on for further advanced screening.
Dedicated to giving back to the community, all 811 players continued their support of the AFL Players’ official charity partner Ladder, an organisation aimed at tackling the issue of youth homelessness, with more than $217,000 donated to the organisation.
AFL players also demonstrated strong social leadership through the Human Rights Commission Racism, It Stops With Me campaign, HeadSpace’s YarnSafe campaign (focused on improving the mental health of Indigenous youth) and #FOOTY4IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) aimed at stamping out homophobia in sport.
The AFL Players’ Association launched its second Reconciliation Action Plan for 2015-2017, building on the strong initiative and leadership demonstrated throughout 2014 and specifying areas for growth and development in this space.