How do you measure success in a season?
For the Reclink Australia Football Program it is possible to look at the numbers; over 650 participants, 280 quarters of football, 13 Teams and 10 weeks of competition.
The real story of success, however, is found behind the numbers, in the impact the season has had on the participants. The friendships made. The lives that have been turned around. The communities that have been strengthened.
The 2nd & 3rd of September will see the culmination of the Reclink Australia Football Program with the 2015 Reclink Australia Grand Final Series.
Commencing back in 1989 with a kick-to-kick session between various members of the St Kilda community, the Reclink Australia Football Program is played from April to August each year. The season concludes with every team having the opportunity to participate in a premiership match regardless of the number of games won or lost throughout the season.
A flagship program for Reclink Australia, the Reclink Football Series provides an opportunity for men and women of all ages and abilities who experience disadvantage including; mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness and social isolation to participate in a structured team based sport.
“The Reclink Football Series allows those who are isolated to reconnect to a community. A stark example of this was a participant who remarked that he can often go for weeks at a time without someone saying his name, however, on the footy field his team mates call his name and welcome him into their community.” Said, Peter Cullen AM, Founder, Reclink Australia.
The Grand Final Series will consist of six matches played across two days involving more than 400 disadvantaged participants.
“Some of the most disadvantage individuals across Victoria participate in the Reclink Football Series and in so doing, create friendships, develop confidence and self-esteem, have fun and develop a sense of personal achievement playing Australian Rules football. Over the past 21 years more than 8400 people have participated in Reclink’s Football Series”. Said John Ballis, CEO, Reclink Australia.
Attending this year’s Grand Final Series will be some of the AFL’s greatest players. Wayne Carey, Bomber Thompson and Krackers Keenan will be on hand to provide the teams with guidance and encouragement.
It promises to be an amazing two days featuring grass roots football at its best.
Community Radio station, Casey Radio, will be conducting an outside broadcast and a free BBQ and refreshments will be available to all. Football tragic, Father Bob Maguire, will also be in attendance and leading the players in a reflection.
Day One – Wednesday, 2nd September
Game 1: 11.00 am Frankston Dolphins vs CoHealth Kangaroos
Game 2: 12.45 pm Midway Cobras vs Kardinia Cats
Game 3: 2.30 pm Sunbury Phoenix vs Southern Peninsula Swans
Day Two – Thursday, 3rd September
Game 1: 11.00 am Sacred Heart Mission vs Collingwood Knights
Game 2: 12.45 pm Collingwood Knights vs Bendigo Victory
Game 3: 2.30 pm Wynbay Bulldogs vs Salvo Hawks
Photo Credit: Glenn Hester