The AFL and the AFLPA have today announced that the collective AFL playing group is donating their 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final non-competing player ticket allocation to all the local community football clubs in Queensland.
Two tickets will go to each of the 159 local community football clubs across Queensland as a thank you for hosting the AFL throughout the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
The clubs can then choose to reward anyone they please within the club, such as long-standing volunteers or people who have fallen on hard times this year, or conversely they can use the tickets to fundraise as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on a lot of club’s finances.
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AFLPA President Patrick Dangerfield said;
"The players are grateful for the incredible support shown to them by the Queensland community throughout the 2020 season.
"To show our thanks, the players, through the AFL Players’ Association, are delighted to donate our Grand Final ticketing allocation to the 159 AFL community clubs in the state.
"It’s been tough for a lot of players to be away from home for so much of the year, but it’s been made easier thanks to the local fans who have brought their energy and voices to the matches each week to cheer us all on.
"The 2020 Grand Final being played in Queensland offers a terrific opportunity for supporters to experience the thrill of attending the Grand Final, and we know the tickets will go to deserving supporters who have done so much to grow our game in Queensland."
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said;
"On behalf of the AFL, I wanted to say thank you to the Queensland football community that has supported our AFL competition this season,
"Footy in Queensland is going from strength to strength and it is testament to the passion of the players, coaches and volunteers who love their local clubs and the sense of belonging they provide to their local communities.
"We are hoping with this fantastic gesture from the collective AFL playing group that local Queensland clubs can show appreciation to their long-standing volunteers or even use the tickets to raise some funds in what has been a challenging year.
"Thank you to the players for this acknowledgement and donation, I know it is something that will be cherished by all the local clubs."
The growth of the game at community level in Queensland has been amplified by hosting the competition in the state, with the game on the rise in terms of popularity and participation:
- 53% growth in participation since 2014
- 31,841 community football participants
- 7,088 girls and women playing community club football
- 29,399 Auskick participants
- 51,078 primary and secondary students (male & female) participated in structured school programs
- Female growth 331% over the past 5 years (including school competitions)
- Total female participants now 42% of total participation
- In 2019, total participation reached 277,703 (including school introductory programs)
- And this year, the South East Queensland competition increased by 2%