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Welcome 2 AFL, Tasmania

Ella Marsh

9 Nov 2023

W2AFL Lands in Launceston and Hobart across 2 exciting weekends.

The Welcome to AFL program is making waves by engaging with international students, people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and newly arrived members of the community. In a safe and welcoming environment, the program introduces them to the world of AFL, promoting a sense of belonging and ensuring participation in Australia's beloved sporting culture.

A group of 60 participants had the opportunity to experience AFL and AFLW across two exciting weekends in Hobart and Launceston. Many had never attended an AFL game before, but through the program, they not only witnessed the North Melbourne vs. Melbourne match but also the game against the Brisbane Lions. After attending Welcome to AFL, The NMFC membership team provided all participants with a 3 game membership to maintain their enthusiasm to attend further AFL and AFLW games.

This instalment of "Welcome to AFL" (W2AFL) was held at Blundstone Arena which included a presentation and a unique opportunity for participants to engage with AFLW stars Nicole Bresnahan and Ellie Gavalas in a Q&A session. The attendees were then divided into two groups: UTAS students took part in a clinic conducted by AFL Tasmania, Nicole Bresnahan, and Ellie Gavalas, where they learned to handball and kick. Meanwhile, the Migrant Resource Centre group enjoyed a tour of the stadium, exploring various areas such as function spaces, private boxes, the gym, oval, coaches' boxes, and changerooms. After the activities, they swapped groups and received giveaways and tickets to the upcoming match against Melbourne.

UTAS international student, Rosie, shared her experience from her first W2AFL session;

“I’m from Wales and arrived in July and I’m spending a year here (Hobart) studying at UTAS. The North Melbourne vs Melbourne match was the first AFL game I’ve seen, I hadn’t heard of AFL until I came to Australia! I thought it was a really interesting game but not what I expected, I thought it would be more like rugby I think, I really enjoyed the game though and am hoping to give it a go and play it for the college next semester!” – Rosie Llewellyn

The Welcome to AFL program aims to open the doors to the world of AFL and form connections within the community. The program's success in both Hobart and Launceston has paved the way for further expansion in Hobart and Launceston, where AFL and AFLW games will continue to be a source of excitement and connection.

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