The Eastern Football Netball League has announced a three year extension of its partnership with the Hawthorn Football Club.
The Hawks have been working with the EFNL since 2015 to strengthen grassroots and community football in the eastern suburbs.
The partnership aims to bridge the gap between grassroots and elite level sport, providing junior athletes and coaches with access to first class development and learning opportunities.
The partnership will see the Hawks provide the league with player and coach ambassadors from both their AFL and VFLW programs, ensuring both boys and girls, and men and women, have equal access to role models and opportunities.
The club will also assist the league in providing coaching programs and unique offers and incentives to clubs and players.
The Eastern Football Netball League has a rich history which stretches back to the 1900’s and is now the largest Australian football competition in Australia in terms of player participation. Currently there are 15,000 players across all the league’s competitions, plus an additional 600 umpires and 5,000 committee members and officials.
As one of the most successful sporting clubs in the country, the partnership with the EFNL provides Hawthorn with the opportunity to share its experience and expertise with a significant number of grassroots participants, coaches and officials. The partnership goes beyond the playing field, with a strong focus on creating better standards across grassroots sport, including coaching, administration and umpiring.
Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves said the partnership was an important one to the Hawks and imperative to ensuring the club plays its role in giving back to the game of AFL.
“Our partnership with the EFNL has been going for five years now and provides us with an amazing opportunity to have a meaningful impact at a grassroots level,” said Reeves.
“The EFNL is one of the largest football competitions in the country and given our ties to the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, we relish the opportunity to work with the league to help bridge the gap between the elite and grassroots sport.
“Many of our players, coaches and administrators started out their careers at a grassroots level and this partnership allows their stories and experiences to become learning and development opportunities for many following in their footsteps.
“We are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in not only the next three years of our partnership but long into the future.”
EFNL CEO Troy Swainston said the partnership provided the league, its coaches and its participants with access to the elite level through a number of programs.
“The Eastern Region is Hawthorn’s heartland so we are thrilled to extend our partnership for a further three years and we are delighted to be working alongside one of the leading AFL Clubs,” Swainston said.
“The partnership is committed to supporting the development of community coaches, engaging with community level participants and also elite level involvement in the League’s representative programs across our boys and girls.”