This week most of the community are focused on the playing prowess of our favorite football code as we celebrate both the AFL and NRL Grand Finals. But the contribution football makes to our community does not end on the field.
We would like to highlight and thank organisations that have been founded by the off-field courage and endeavors of professional football players – those who have seen a need and used their influence and generous spirit to make a difference in the wider community.
Ricky Stuart Foundation
Set up by Rugby League player and coach Ricky Stuart to raise awareness of Autism. The organisation raises funds to support the after-care for autistic people and help their families.
AFL legend Jim Stynes established the Reach Foundation with film director Paul Currie to inspire young people to believe in themselves and get the most out of life.
The Wirrpanda Foundation, founded by AFL player David Wirrpanda, aims to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians across our four pillars of education, employment, justice and sport.
The Go Foundation was founded by AFL players Adam Goodes and Michael O’Loughlin create opportunities for Indigenous youth through education.
E.J Whitten Foundation
This foundation was created in honour of AFL player Ted Whitten to raise funds for prostate cancer research and awareness.
Men of League
Men of League provides support and assistance for men, women and children in the Rugby League community. It was established by former players Jim Hall, Max Brown and Ron Coote.
The Clontarf Foundation
This foundation exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and was set up by former Fremantle Football Club coach Gerard Neesham.
Ladder is an independent not-for-profit organisation established in 2007 by a group of AFL players to help young people aged 16 – 25 break the cycle of homelessness.
Luke Priddis Foundation
Established in 2006 by rugby league player Luke Priddis to raise funds to improve services to families with autistic children.
Mark Hughes Foundation
The Mark Hughes Foundation is a charity formed by Mark and Kirralee Hughes following Mark’s diagnosis with Brain Cancer. Their aim is to raise funds for research, to create awareness and support brain cancer patients and their families.
Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision
Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision was set up by AFL player Nick Riewoldt and his family to fund medical research into finding a cure for Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes.