Tragedy: AFL will support Devonport community



AFL will schedule a preseason game in Tasmania in March to support the Devonport community after this week’s tragic crash

Hawthorn and Richmond will play an AFL pre-season tribute game in Tasmania in March to support the devastated community of Devonport after this week’s tragic event.

Details are still being finalized, but one location option for the game is Dial Park in Penguin, on the northwest coast of Tasmania.

The announcement follows the deaths of five students at Hillcrest Elementary School in a jumping castle accident.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said it was important for the football industry to support the Devonport community.

“On behalf of the AFL, I offer my deepest condolences to all affected by the crash at Hillcrest Primary in Devonport earlier this week,” McLachlan said.

“To everyone affected by the tragedy, including families, first responders, the school community and the wider Devonport community, we send our thoughts.

“We can’t imagine the heartache that everyone goes through in the tight-knit community of Northwest Tasmania – we share that heartbreak and, as an industry, we are united in our commitment to help.”

The AFL, along with Hawks and Tigers officials, will work closely with the local community and the Tasmanian government and host a pre-game fundraising event.

North Melbourne, which like Hawthorn has a long-standing relationship with Tasmania, will also provide support.

Hawthorn Chairman Jeff Kennett, Richmond Managing Director Brendon Gale and Kangaroos CEO Ben Amarfio all offered their condolences to the community of Devonport.

“Everyone has been completely heartbroken by the tragic loss of young lives in Devonport this week,” said Gale.

“Nothing can fix what happened, but if somehow we can help bring Devonport and the Northwest Coast community together, then we will be only too happy to to help.

“Tasmania is a place close to the heart of the Richmond Football Club, and Devonport was home to (the big club) Matthew Richardson and his family.

“The club and Matthew will do everything possible to support the Devonport community during this incredibly difficult time.”

The pre-season match will be played at 1:10 p.m. AEDT on Saturday March 5 at a location to be determined. The AFL will publish the full preseason game on Monday.



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