22 Apr Chairman’s Update
What another exciting year for ADF Australian Rules Football. In 2016 our program is expanding, with a highly competitive National ADF Carnival, an indigenous development program, the inaugural National Wheelchair Aussie Rules Carnival, and our ADF All Stars ANZAC Cup representative games all taking place in April.
Congratulations to all men’s and women’s Service teams that participated in the National Carnival at Moorabbin Oval, Melbourne, 3-9 April. The carnival was once again hosted and supported by the St Kilda Football Club, with Army successful in defending their title in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Well done to all competitors and supporting staff.
We’ve now finalised selection of the ADF ‘All Stars’ national representative teams from the carnival and ready to compete in both men’s and women’s football during the AFL ANZAC Round weekend 23-25 April.
The men’s ADF All Stars will once again play against the best of Australian Combined Emergency Services (ACES) at the fantastic Adelaide Oval facility on 23 April. This game is being played as a curtain raiser immediately prior to the Port Adelaide-Geelong ANZAC commemorative round game, and is a highlight of our ADFAR annual calendar. Port Adelaide Football Club have been outstanding in their generous support to our program, providing training opportunities at their home ground, exposure to AFL level professional development, visitation to their facilities and motivational engagements with coaches and staff.
The women’s ADF All Stars team will play against an AFL Victoria women’s representative team for the ANZAC Challenge Cup on 24 April, at North Port Oval, Port Melbourne. Our women will be defending their title against AFL Victoria for the fourth year straight and we expect a fast, high quality game, given the superb standard of women’s football displayed at our ADF National Carnival this year.
Umpires are a critical part of any Aussie Rules competition and ADFAR continues to promote ADF member participation in approved umpiring accreditation courses. Our pool of available umpires is steadily growing and it is very pleasing that we are at the standard required to officiate at Adelaide Oval and Port Melbourne as part of the ANZAC round.
This year we are delighted to once again provide opportunities for our indigenous servicemen and women to come together and play Aussie Rules wearing the ADF uniform. Following a successful development camp in Melbourne in early April, we will be returning with a men’s team during the Dreamtime AFL round in Melbourne in late May, to play against a local Victorian indigenous side. We will then compete at the Koori Carnival in Bendigo in October with both men’s and women’s indigenous teams.
We are very excited this year to have partnered with Disability Sports Australia to introduce the very first National Wheelchair Aussie Rules Carnival, played at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre in Melbourne, also in early April. The ADF entered two teams of servicemen undergoing rehabilitation and recovery at Army Soldier Recovery Centres, and we were delighted to assist an RSL NSW team participate. Many thanks to the great support provided by Simpson Barracks and apsenmedical for their support. The honours were taken by the South Australian state wheelchair team, and we are looking forward to continue promoting Australia’s newest adaptive and disabled sport.
Our sponsoring partners provide critical support to ADFAR activities and in 2016 we are once again very well supported. Australian Military Bank has been terrific in providing major sponsor support to the ADF National Carnival and Presentation Evening. We are delighted to have on board KPMG for our indigenous program and future development opportunities. Another new sponsor, Bruck Textiles, have been very generous with their assistance to Navy, Army, Air Force and our ADF representative sides for clothing and uniforms. Likewise, ISC is once again providing great support for uniforms and playing gear across all Services and ADFAR activities. Deloitte kindly continue to support our umpire group and Chairman’s reception event. aspenmedical has joined us to provide medical assistance across all our games, in particular Wheelchair Aussie Rules and our ADF All Stars game day events. ADFAR is also grateful for the support provided by Qube, who are with us for the second year and also support our Wheelchair Aussie Rules carnival. Without these sponsors we would not be in a position to successfully promote and conduct our increasing range of Aussie Rules opportunities for our serving members.
Likewise we are very grateful to Port Adelaide Football Club for their support to our ADF Men’s football; St Kilda Football Club in providing use of Moorabbin Oval for the ADF National Carnival; and Richmond Football Club in assisting with our indigenous development program.
The ADFAR Executive Committee meets on a regular basis to plan activities and coordinate development of our great Australian game. We continue to seek opportunities to promote ADF Australian Rules Football inside and outside Defence and are always on the look out for Servicemen and women who want to become active participants as players, administrative staff, coaching staff, umpires and committee members, or just want to be involved.
We welcome your input and thank all participants for supporting ADF Australian Rules Football.
Chairman Australian Defence Force Australian Rules Association