Flying Boomerangs Program win International Award
Friday, December 09 2011 @ 10:29 am ACDT
Contributed by: Troy Thompson
The AFL’s Flying Boomerangs program has won a prestigious Beyond Sport Award. AFL Community Engagement Manager Jason Mifsud accepted the award in Cape Town, South Africa, last night.
The program was nominated in the Sport Federation or Governing Body of the Year category and was amongst 400 entries from more than 125 countries.
AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou said he was extremely proud of the Flying Boomerangs program and the recognition it had received.
“The AFL game, with the support of our players, our clubs, government and our major partners, has been focused heavily on building greater access to our game.
“More than 10 per cent of players at the elite AFL level have an indigenous background and we have sought to use the game to increase opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“This is a tremendous recognition of the work being done across the football industry, with support from so many people, for better sporting, health, leadership, education and employment outcomes for Indigenous people across Australia.
“To have our program recognised internationally is very rewarding,” he said.
The Flying Boomerangs is a personal development and leadership program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young men that are 14 -15 years of age. The program incorporates a match series against developing international countries (South Africa 2006 and 2008, PNG 2009 and Tonga 2010 and Fiji 2011). The participants are selected from an annual camp that involves players from throughout Australia and are mentored by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and former Australian Football League players.
The 2011 Flying Boomerangs tour to Fiji commences this Sunday December 12. The Flying Boomerangs engage in leadership sessions, a cultural exchange and will play matches against Under 15 Oceania and South Pacific teams.
Other nominees in the Sport Federation or Governing Body of the Year category were; the International Table Tennis Federation and the National Hockey League Green program (US & Canada).
The award was judged by the Beyond Sport Panel of Ambassadors which is chaired by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The panel includes the Beyond Sport official patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Olympic Gold medalists Michael Johnson, Michelle Ford and Sergey Bubka, Chairman and CEO, Special Olympics Timothy Shriver and Chairman of the 2012 London Olympics Lord Sebastian Coe.
The Beyond Sport Community Awards winners receive funding and a package of substantial business support to enable them to move forward and become fully sustainable in the future.
There were 12 categories in the 2011 Beyond Sport Awards covering the entire sporting spectrum of health, social inclusion, corporate and social responsibility, and philanthropy.
The categories were split into three clear sections – Beyond Sport Community Awards; Corporation and Federation Awards; and the Judges' Awards.
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