On February 17, 2016, The AFL Players’ Association and its members unveiled a new initiative called AFL Players Care, which allows more than $435,000 of AFL players’ match payments to be donated to charities around Australia each year.
The AFL Players Care program was launched after the players collectively voted, at the end of 2014, to increase their match payment charity contributions from $25 to $50 per player, per game.
CLICK ON THE INFOGRAPHIC BELOW TO SEE HOW DONATIONS ARE DIVIDED BETWEEN CLUBS AND CHARITIES
While this far-reaching initiative, coordinated by the AFL Players’ Association, is a new concept, AFL players have a strong history of making a difference in the community.
Since 2008, every AFL-listed player has been donating $25 of his match payment to the AFL Players’ official charity partner, Ladder, to help tackle youth homelessness. But as AFL Players’ CEO Paul Marsh explained, “AFL Players Care now provides the players with an opportunity to support causes they hold close to them”.
“AFL Players have a unique opportunity to influence change in our community and it’s outstanding that the players have decided of their own accord to donate $50 per player, per game they play, to charity.”
Things like this shouldn't go unnoticed and get more media coverage https://t.co/K5kxK9HsJW
— Tom Rockliff (@rockwiz38) February 17, 2016
Fremantle opted to donate its $10,000 to the the Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund to assist those affected by January’s Yarloop bush fires. The donation came on the eve of the Dockers’ first NAB Challenge match against Richmond in Mandurah, which the clubs and the AFL have dedicated to helping those affected by the bushfires.
One of Fremantle’s two AFLPA delegates, Matt De Boer the playing group was united in wanting to contribute to the cause.
“(The fires were) pretty devastating and naturally you think of your own home and your own home family,” De Boer said. “We have all got homes to come home to and families that we care for. If we can help in some small way we are happy to.”
Lord Mayors Distress Fund board member Jennifer Smith labelled the contribution “absolutely fantastic”.
For the Adelaide Crows, CanTeen – which supports young people living with cancer – was deemed a great fit.
“We came together and decided if anyone was passionate about something or had something in mind that they wanted to support, they could put that forward,” midfielder David Mackay told the Adelaide Advertiser.
As Mackay has long been an ambassador for CanTeen, and because the club as a whole saw the devastation of cancer when assistant coach Dean Bailey lost his battle with the disease in 2014, the Crows players were happy to donate their $10,000 to CanTeen.
Click here to read the full story about Adelaide’s donation, as published in the Adelaide Advertiser.