From the annual AFLM Djilang Match, to clinics and milestones, it’s been a busy time for the Cats in the Community programs!
Catch up on some of what’s been happening at the club off the field:
Djilang Program, presented by Barwon Water
After workshops during the most recent school holidays, the handprint artwork created by Aboriginal children and young people from across the region was on display around the ground at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.
The annual Djilang Matches are key dates in the Cats’ fixture, as we celebrate the contribution the First Nations peoples have made to the game of Australian Football. The Cats men wore their 2021 Indigenous guernsey, while the artwork created through the Djilang Program, presented by Barwon Water, featured on the LED signage at times throughout the game.
There was a gift exchange before the game between the Cats and the Giants, with Geelong giving GWS a piece of Wathaurong Glass in the shape of a boomerang, commemorating the match, while GWS gifted Geelong a hand-painted football by Indigenous artist Rickey Kildea.
The Djilang Game and Djilang Program are proudly presented by Barwon Water.
Northern Stars Auskick Gala Day
An Auskick Gala Day brought out young stars from Corio and North Shore last week.
Before Victoria’s latest lockdown, the young footballers gathered at North Shore Football Club for the Northern Stars Auskick Gala Day. There was a visit from Half-Cat and Clawdia as participants enjoyed a series of footy drills, as well as the AFL Barwon Climb and Slide and inflatable goal posts, followed by a sausage sizzle.
The gala day was the culmination of a series of Auskick clinics, which had been run at the Northern Bay College campuses, intended as an introduction to the Auskick environment, and was a joint effort between AFL Barwon, the Geelong Cats and North Shore Football Club, with some help from SEDA College.
Deakin Cats Community Centre Milestone
The Geelong Cats were thrilled to pass a special milestone at the Deakin Cats Community Centre recently, with the 125,000th visitation to the centre since it opened its doors in 2013.
In what has been a heavily interrupted 18 months for everyone, the milestone was cause to celebrate the ongoing partnership with community groups and schools, as well as casual visitors to the Sensory Zone and Gartland Heritage Centre.
The Deakin Cats Community Centre has more than 150 community access partners, and is home to Cats in the Community programs BioCATS and GMHBA Healthy Heroes.
Welcome to Geelong
The annual Welcome to Geelong Event, proudly supported by Viva Energy, was a great success in 2021, with more than 150 members of Geelong’s multicultural community enjoying a day learning about the club and Aussie Rules, and picking up some footy skills along the way.
The event saw the Cats work with Diversitat and Catholic Care to create a gateway to the sport, taking participants young and old through some of the rules of the game, and teaching skills like kicking, handballing and tackling.
Cats players Georgie Rankin and Liv Barber were on hand to help run the drills, alongside students from SEDA College and AFL Barwon staff.
Geelong Strong Raffle
The future is bright for Cats in the Community Programs, after the recent Geelong Strong Raffle raised more than $60,000 to help fund the club’s community initiatives.
The raffle saw one lucky person win a brand-new Ford Puma ST-Line, while other prizes included two 2022 Geelong Cats Social Club Memberships, AFL 2022 Team Photo Inclusion, an a Carji Greeves Medal Night double pass.
The support of the club’s generous Geelong Cats Foundation – Our Ambition donors and members and fans through initiatives like the Geelong Strong Raffle helps the Cats to continue making a meaningful impact in the community across its suite of programs.