The on and off-field excellence of premiership captain Cameron Ling has been recognised with his announcement as the 2011 AFL Players’ Madden Medallist, in front of 300 industry guests and peers at Studio 3 in Melbourne’s Crown Casino tonight.
The AFL Players’ Association Madden Medal is awarded to the retiring player who throughout his career has demonstrated on-field excellence, personal development and growth, as well as community spirit.
The Award – presented by Open Universities Australia – is voted on by the Board of the AFL Players’ Association. This year’s poll saw Cameron Ling come in ahead of other Madden Medal nominees Craig Bolton, Tadhg Kennelly, Barry Hall, Cameron Mooney and Brady Rawlings.
Ling joins Brett Kirk (2010), Michael O’Loughlin (2009), Robert Harvey (2008) and Glenn Archer (2007) as winners of this prestigious award.
Ling accepted the award in person, from brothers Simon and Justin Madden, and thanked his Cat teammates and the club for their support throughout his career.
AFL Players’ CEO Matt Finnis said Ling’s achievements across all areas were indicative of the way he went about his footy – humble, hardworking and very successful.
“He retires as a triple premiership player with 246 games at the elite level and has become
one of the most popular figures in the game, not only among Geelong supporters but throughout the entire AFL industry” – Matt Finnis.
“He retires as a triple premiership player with 246 games at the elite level and has become one of the most popular figures in the game, not only among Geelong supporters but throughout the entire AFL industry,” said Finnis.
“His achievements across all three categories of the Madden Medal have been exceptional.
Whether the focus on his extensive community work, his dedication to personal and professional development or his ability to set himself up as a business man, Ling is an example of a player who has made most of his AFL career.”
A hometown hero, Ling entertained the town of Geelong with a weekly radio slot on K-Rock 95.5FM and was also a regular panellist on Channel 9’s The Footy Show and Before the Game where his infectious personality won him a loyal fan-base.
Away from the spotlight, his dedication to personal and professional development saw him complete a Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training and he is currently continuing both a Bachelor of Teaching – Primary / Bachelor of Arts and also a Certificate III in Building.
He has also proven himself to be a savvy investor and is part owner in six Geelong bars, cafes and restaurants.
During his career he also performed a significant amount of community work in a variety of roles including as an ambassador with the Sea Shepherd, who continue to working to halt Southern Ocean whaling, as well as providing support to Anam Cara House, a community service providing care for people affected by a life-limiting illness.
He also volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters, which supports vulnerable young people through volunteer adult mentors as well as supporting Bravehearts, an organisation whose sole goal is to continue to fight to stop child sexual assault in our society.