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Over the past week it would be hard to miss the coverage of the booing of Adam Goodes has faced whilst playing the game he both clearly loves and excels at and the impact this is having on him, his family, team mates, friends and the community. Whilst not necessarily wanting to add to the commentary around this, it did get me to thinking about how as a club we can ensure we are inclusive and welcoming to everyone and demonstrate fair play and support for all players (and officials) regardless of who they are, their background, what club they play for or what level of skill they play the game at. This got me thinking of - Cheer for All....every player, every team being supported in the fact they are having a go!
A suggestion from one 12 year old player at another Western Sydney AFL Club was to write 37 (Adam Goodes's number) on upper arms of all players to show support for Adam and the issues he is dealing with - what a simple but great idea. So on Sunday we will have Textas / Zinc available for any players or supporters who wish to do this. Again this is not to make comment on the commentary around this issue but as a way to say - enough is enough - the sporting field should be a place where anyone, but particularly kids, get to leave the rest of life's issues and difficulties behind and just have some fun with your mates.
I would also like to ask all players / families / coaches and supporters to "Cheer for All" this weekend - a full home round of footy where we can encourage and support all our teams, as well as the clubs we are playing against. Yes sport is competitive, but participation, enjoyment and improvement each week must be the primary reason for playing. Let's provide the environment that supports that this and every weekend. So as you come to watch the games this weekend - before you make a comment about a mistake a player or official has made - remember Cheer for All.
Look forward to seeing you all on Sunday
Cheers (for all)