More than 12,000 junior players in National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors will take a stance against violence and bullying this weekend in the inaugural Sammy D Foundation Round.
Players will wear blue armbands for all games to help promote the Sammy D Foundation and increase awareness about changing community attitudes towards violence.
The round also coincides with the launch of the Foundation’s first Sammy D beanies to raise funds to educate young people on the impacts of bullying and drug and alcohol-fuelled violence.
In 2019, SANFL Juniors led the way in harm prevention with the commencement of education sessions run by the Sammy D Foundation at clubs across the metropolitan area.
The ground-breaking initiative, made possible through the financial support of SA Power Networks, was put on hold last year due to COVID but has recently re-commenced.
National Pharmacies SANFL Juniors manager Geoff Riddle said the goal was to have all 60 SANFL Juniors Clubs participate in the education sessions by the end of this season.
“We’ve already seen the education sessions have a positive impact on almost 30 SANFL Juniors clubs, with over 4000 players and parents taking part in the sessions to date,” Mr Riddle said.
“Playing footy is a big part of the lives of junior players and their families and this is a need to keep on educating and equipping everyone involved with valuable skills that go beyond the footy field.”
The on and off-field violence prevention program – Monkey See, Monkey Do – includes a powerful presentation from Neil Davis, the father of 17-year-old Sam Davis, a budding young football player who was tragically killed as a result of a violent one-punch assault in 2008.
Following Neil’s presentation, players participate in bullying and violence prevention workshops where they explore the personal and community consequences of violence, what influences this behavior, and strategies to respond.
Sammy D Foundation General Manager Brigid Koenig said the Foundation was thrilled to recommence the roll out of the education sessions and promoting the important message around on and off-field violence prevention.
“We are proud of the difference this program is making at the grassroots level. Many parents and coaches keep telling us what positive impacts this program has had at their club,” Ms Koenig said.
“Importantly, parents and senior club members are given the opportunity to reflect on their role as positive role models and as the number one influence in the lives of young people.”
To order Sammy D beanies, which cost $20, go to www.sammydfoundation.org.au