Hawks partner with AFL Tasmania

Taylor Duryea assisting a young student participating in the Looking After Me program.

Hawthorn and AFL Tasmania have established a new partnership focused on encouraging young Tasmanians to lead active, healthy lifestyles.

The partnership, which was officially launched in Hobart today, aims to promote participation in the game with the long-term objective of a new generation of active, healthy Tasmanians.

Hawthorn and AFL Tasmania will work together to accelerate participation in football across Tasmania and ensure development of talent pathways for males and females playing the game.

In order to achieve these outcomes Hawthorn and AFL Tasmania will combine to host sports gala events in both Launceston and Hobart during the club’s annual Australia Post Community Camp in Tasmania.

The two organisations will also collaborate on one signature match at UTAS Stadium each year to celebrate football in Tasmania and encourage people to join the spectator community.

AFL Tasmania will also support the delivery of Hawthorn’s school program Looking After ME.

Currently implemented in 63 schools across Tasmania, Looking After ME is an online primary school program developed by Hawthorn Football Club in consultation with the Tasmanian Department of Education to ensure alignment with the Australian Curriculum.

The program aims to address issues relating to nutrition and physical activity in a way that encourages long lasting behavioural change.

Hawthorn CEO Tracey Gaudry said the partnership opens exciting opportunities for the club, AFL Tasmania and the Tasmanian community.

“Hawthorn enjoys a special relationship with Tasmania, now in its 16th year, and we are excited by the opportunity to strengthen our relationship even further through a partnership with AFL Tasmania,” Gaudry said.

“Our partnership with AFL Tasmania will extend beyond the football field to positively impact some of the unique social challenges faced by Tasmanians.

“We will work together on a number of initiatives to encourage inclusion, promote positive physical, nutrition and participatory behavioural models that have the potential to affect long term cultural change.

“One of these initiatives will be working together to support and encourage schools to adopt our Looking After ME schools program which informs and educates young Tasmanians, at an age where they begin to develop lifelong habits, about the importance of physical activity and good nutrition.”

AFL Tasmania CEO Rob Auld said the partnership with Hawthorn presents great opportunity to impact change.

"AFL Tasmania has worked closely with Hawthorn Football Club to develop a joint set of programs that look to grow the game and improve outcomes for those involved, through the classroom, annual community camps, a marquee game day activation and looking to support communities through football’s reach,” said Auld.

"Specifically this will involve leveraging Hawthorn's long standing presence in Tasmania and the power of their AFL brand with local execution through AFL Tasmania resources. We are excited with the new agreement as it not only provides clarity and focus it also takes our game into areas where football has a great opportunity to impact change.

"The flagship school program looking after ME has the potential to be generational in its outcome, equally as does driving better fan experiences and engagement at games.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs.

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