By ZAC MILBANK
SANFL has united with the highly-respected Sammy D Foundation and SA Power Networks to raise awareness, and prevent, violence in the community.
Throughout the next 18 months, the Sammy D Foundation will present its educational program to all SANFL Juniors clubs in a bid to change attitudes toward aggressive behaviour on and off the field.
SANFL Juniors Competition Manager Geoff Riddle confirmed that both players, and parents, would have the opportunity to attend the presentations, which are delivered with passion and sincerity by Sammy D Foundation Executive Director Neil Davis.
“SANFL Juniors plays a key role in the lives of its participants,” Riddle said.
”And as a competition, we have a great opportunity to educate and equip young people with valuable skills that go far beyond the footy field. We believe this program can have a power effect on both children and parent groups.”
Sammy D’s primary prevention program illustrates the devastating impact one punch can have, as Davis details the tragic events surrounding the sudden death of his 17-year-old son Sam Davis – a promising South Adelaide footballer – in 2008.
SANFL Juniors players will also participate in bullying and violence prevention workshops where they will explore the personal and community consequences of violence, what influences this behavior, and strategies to respond.
In addition, parents and senior club members will be given the opportunity to reflect on their duty as positive role models, and the number one influence in the lives of young people.
Sammy D Foundation Chairman, Brett Duncanson, said this commitment from SANFL meant that up to 12,800 young players and their families would benefit from the program.
“We know this program is effective,” Duncanson said.
”With 98 per cent of participants reporting that they were more aware of the impact of one punch and 89 per cent detailing they did not get involved in a violent situation because of the information they were given.”
Both SANFL and the Sammy D Foundation paid tribute to SA Power Networks, which has made the joint initiative possible with a financial contribution.
“SA Power Networks is pleased to be partnering with the Sammy D Foundation and SANFL to tackle violence in sport,” said Kylie Kerrigan, Manager Sponsorship and Events, SA Power Networks.
”Working closely with community to make South Australia a safe and inclusive place to live and play is important to us, and we hope that SANFL juniors, their clubs and parents, really embrace the program and its messages.”