It’s been a big fortnight for the Cats in Community Program, with program launches, awards presented, footy clinics and more.

Catch up on some of what’s been happening at the club off the field:

GMHBA Healthy Heroes Expands

The GMHBA Healthy Heroes Program is back, bigger and better than ever before!

The popular school-based program is expanding in 2021: while previously the GMHBA Healthy Heroes program was aimed primarily at students in Grades 3 and 4, Healthy Heroes now boasts a suite of programs, tailored for students all the way from Prep through to Grade 6 in the G21 region. Resources will also be available online for teachers across Australia.

The flagship Grade 3/4 program rolled out in schools across the Geelong region on Tuesday, with players from the Cats’ AFLM and AFLW teams visiting schools for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

GMHBA Healthy Heroes’ Grade 5/6 Program also launched in recent weeks, with students from schools across the region making their way to GMHBA Stadium to learn about wellbeing and leadership.

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GMHBA Healthy Heroes At Belmont Primary

GMHBA Healthy Heroes Ambassadors Joel Selwood, Darcy Moloney, and Brandan Parfitt launch their new program at Belmont Primary School.

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AFLW Carter Family Community Champion Award

The Geelong Cats were delighted to announce joint-winners in the AFLW Carter Family Community Champion Award, with Renee Garing and Steph Williams recognised for their outstanding contribution to the community and leadership.

Garing, who has in recent years been the Cats’ AFLW face of the Just Think program, volunteers with the Pretty Foundation, Salvation Army and Fight Cancer Foundation, and throws her support behind local initiatives, like Barwon Health’s Virtual Run 4 Geelong event.

Renee Garing with her Carter Family Community Champion Award

Despite balancing a busy schedule as teacher and AFLW player, Garing always looks to give back to her community where she can.

Williams has impressed in her first season at the club. Despite being just 19, she has been quick to embrace the opportunity AFLW affords her to give back to the community.

The young forward was the face of the AFLW Cats’ first Djilang Game, promoting the competition’s inaugural Indigenous Round, and took the opportunity that week and throughout the season to educate her teammates and staff from her personal experiences and stories.

Williams and Garing also both use their platforms on social media to empower young women.

Cats AFLW player Steph Williams with Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Corrina Eccles at the launch of the 2021 AFLW Indigenous Guernsey

All-Abilities Clinic

It may just be one of the Geelong Cats’ favourite dates on the calendar: the annual All-Abilities Clinic.

After being unable to hold the clinic in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Cats were thrilled to welcome young people through Leisure Networks and Gateways onto the hallowed turf at GMHBA Stadium.

Participants and their siblings were able to enjoy a rare opportunity to attend a clinic together, with the guidance of several Cats AFL and AFLW players, as well as students from the SEDA AFL Geelong . The clinic was run with the supporter of SEDA and Kardinia Park Stadium Trust.

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Clark & Rankin at All Abilities Clinic

Jordan Clark and Georgie Rankin chat to the kids at our All Abilities Clinic held at GMHBA Stadium.

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Ward Walks Continue Virtually

AFL Cats Gary Rohan and Francis Evans were given the opportunity to virtually visit some young patients in the children’s ward at Barwon Health’s University Hospital Geelong.

While ongoing restrictions mean face-to-face visits aren’t possible at the moment, players and patients alike delighted in the opportunity for some one-on-one chats and to spread some joy in each other’s day.


With the start of term 2 of the school year, the BioCATS program is back up and running!

Schools across Victoria are participating in the full-day excursion to the Deakin Cats Community Centre at GMHBA Stadium.

The BioCATS program teaches students to use their science, maths and teamwork skills to learn more about football, sport and the amazing human body. In the BioCATS program, students learn about GPS technology, leading a healthy and active life and unlocking scientific development.

The program is presented by Bisinella, in partnership with the Geelong Cats and BioLAB.

Cats Invited to Iftar Dinner

Ramadan Mubarak! The Geelong Cats were invited to Diversitat Geelong’s Iftar Dinner this week.

Geelong Cats players Esava Ratugolea and Georgie Rankin, as well as Cats staff, joined in the breaking of the fast at the special event in Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Ford Rewards Hard Work of Community Groups

The Ford Community Ticketing initiative is back for games at GMHBA Stadium for 2021. Each home game, Ford generous donates tickets to community groups as a thank-you for their hard work.

In Round 2, guests from headspace Geelong enjoyed a night at the footy as the Cats defeated the Lions. In Round 5, the Ford Community tickets went to some lucky teachers who had enrolled their schools in the GMHBA Healthy Heroes program, as well as Geelong’s TAC Unity Cup Gala Day squad.

A Note on the Cats’ 2021 AFLW Season

The Cats in the Community team would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Cats Women’s resilience during a difficult 2021 season, and congratulate the team’s award-winners and nominees:

  • Amy McDonald, Cats AFLW Best and Fairest
  • Georgie Rankin, Hoops Award Winner
  • Renee Garing and Steph Williams, Carter Family Community Champion Award Winners
  • Amy McDonald, Cats AFLW Fan MVP, presented by Viva Energy
  • Meg McDonald, 2021 AFLW All Australian
  • Becky Webster, AFL Players’ Association 2021 AFLW 22under22 team
  • Becky Webster, AFLW Rising Star nominee (Round 4)
  • Olivia Barber, AFLW Mark of the Year nominee (Round 3)
  • Olivia Purcell and Denby Taylor, AFL Players’ Association 22under22 squad nominees