Hawks' new home honours Kennedy family

Hawthorn Football Club has announced its future home in Dingley Village will be named the Kennedy Community Centre in honour of club Legend, John Kennedy Snr.

In late 2016 the club purchased a 28-hectare site which will be Hawthorn’s home for the next 50 to 100 years.

Hawthorn plans to transform the Kennedy Community Centre into the premier sporting and community facility in Melbourne’s South East.

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said the club could not think of a more fitting name for the Dingley Village site.

“This is the most significant project in Hawthorn’s history and we are incredibly proud to have the Kennedy name strongly connected,” said Reeves.

“The Kennedy family is synonymous with Hawthorn and is an integral part of the fabric of our football club.

“The impact they’ve had on Hawthorn will be eternally felt and the Kennedy Community Centre will ensure the Kennedy name is synonymous with the past, present and future of Hawthorn Football Club.

“John was in many ways the initiator of Hawthorn’s family culture and our initial success and, along with others, laid the foundations for what has become an incredibly strong football club.

“The Kennedy Community Centre will be a place that embodies the family values of Hawthorn and the Kennedy’s, and gives Hawthorn people a place to call home.

“John, his late wife Dulcie, and their entire family are wonderful Hawthorn people and we are humbled to be able to put their name to our new home.”

John Kennedy Senior said he and his family were honoured by the announcement.

“Hawthorn has been very kind to the Kennedy family over many years and all of our family are honoured to be remembered in this way,” Kennedy Snr said.

“However, we must not become lost in the past; Spectemur Agendo.”

Kennedy played 164 games for the Hawks and coached 299 games, including the club’s first premiership in 1961. He coached Hawthorn to three premierships and held the club-record from most games coached until late last year when surpassed by Alastair Clarkson.

John’s late wife Dulcie was a committed Hawthorn supporter who held the role of number one female ticket holder for three years between 2014-2016, and their son John Kennedy Jnr played 241 games for the Hawks, including four premierships and is President of the club’s Past Players and Officials association. John Snr’s grandson Josh also played 13 games for Hawthorn between 2007 and 2009, before being traded to Sydney, where he is currently captain of the club.

The development of the Kennedy Community Centre will go beyond the creation of an elite training and administration facility for Hawthorn’s staff and players and encompass community focused facilities, such as alternate sporting amenities and community hubs.

The statue of John Kennedy Snr which is currently situated at Waverley Park will be relocated to the entrance of the Kennedy Community Centre when the site officially becomes the new home of the Hawks.

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

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