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Melbourne FC introduces Welcome Game for round 21 at the MCG

Toni Hetherington, August 10, 2017 7:10PM Herald Sun

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Christian Petracca with his dad Tony and mum Elvira. Picture: Michael Dodge media_cameraChristian Petracca with his dad Tony and mum Elvira. Picture: Michael Dodge

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THE Melbourne Football Club has thrown out the welcome mat to everyone for its AFL match this weekend.

The footy club, in partnership with the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and the AFL has launched The Welcome Game against St Kilda at the MCG on Sunday (August 13).

The game has a three-pronged* message to welcome everyone — regardless of race, religion, gender or age — to Australian football, the MCG and the Melbourne Football Club.

“It’s opening the door to everyone — no matter where you come or where you’re born or who you love or what your preference is — it doesn’t matter. Everyone’s welcome at the MCG and it’s a big game on Sunday — Melbourne and the Saints. Everyone’s welcome,” said Melbourne FC chairman Glen Barlett.

The AFL sending a clear message. Picture: Michael Dodge media_cameraThe AFL sending a clear message. Picture: Michael Dodge

He said the club was “privileged to hold the name of this great city”.

“People who come to Melbourne — we want them to come to the MCG, come and visit the museum and come and see a game experience,” he said.

Melbourne midfielder Christian Petracca says the story of his father’s migration to Australia at age three is one that still brings a smile to his face and is indicative* of the welcoming nature of AFL.

Born in Italy, dad Tony was confused by the foreign object that was an Aussie rules football when he first saw other kids kicking it around in the street.

But he eventually found himself converted from soccer supporter to a football fanatic*.

Christian Petracca speaking to the media at the Welcome Game launch. Picture: Michael Dodge media_cameraChristian Petracca speaking to the media at the Welcome Game launch. Picture: Michael Dodge

The tale is one the Demons hope to replicate many times over when they host their “Welcome Game”.

Melbourne is giving away 20,000 tickets to schools and multicultural communities for what shapes up as a massive match celebrating our city’s diversity, inclusiveness and sense of belonging.

“The beauty about football is it’s so multicultural, anyone can play no matter who you are and where you come from,” Petracca said.

“We really want to welcome people to the MCG and to this great club.”

The National Sports Museum, located at Gate 3 of the MCG, will be open from 10am on the day and kids will get in free, with up to 50 per cent off entry for adults attending The Welcome Game.

Kids having a kick at the MCG. Picture: Nicki Connolly media_cameraKids having a kick at the MCG. Picture: Nicki Connolly

From 11am on Sunday there will be a range of activities on offer, including a sausage sizzle, multicultural music and entertainment, Hands on Footy for people new to the game, face painting and more. In addition, a special international flag parade will take place on the turf at halftime.

It is also a Sunday Funday game, meaning free general admission tickets are available to children under the age of 15.
And if you’ve dreamt of running out on the ‘G, you can on Sunday with kick to kick on the hallowed* turf after the game (weather permitting).

GLOSSARY

three-pronged: three points
indicative: representative
fanatic: obsessive fan

hallowed: sacred

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CLASSROOM ACTIVITY

Australian Rules Football

“The game has a three-pronged message to welcome everyone — regardless of race, religion, gender or age — to the Australian football, the MCG and the Melbourne Football Club.”

Choose one of the following tasks:

• A. Create a fact sheet about Australian Rules Football for those that have not seen the game before.

Include the overall objective of the game, some facts about how to play, a diagram of the ground with the lines marked and anything else you feel is relevant for a new person to the game.

• B: The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is an iconic Melbourne landmark. It is considered to be hallowed turf by many sports enthusiasts.

Find out some interesting facts about the MCG. Write these facts on a fact sheet. You can include things like major events held there, the ground capacity and when it was built.

• C: The Melbourne Football Club is also welcoming people to its club. Create a fact sheet about the Melbourne Demons. Include things like team colours, past and present day champions, team successes, current ladder position and the club song,

Extension: Melbourne Football Club says welcome!

The idea of the Welcome Game is to welcome people from different backgrounds to AFL.

Create a welcome poster for the Melbourne Football Club to use this weekend. Your poster should say welcome in lots of different languages. The words should be splashed across your poster in lots of colours, fonts and directions.

Find out how to say welcome in at least 10 different languages.
You may be able to ask people in your class or may need to use the internet or other resources to help you.

You can make the poster by hand or a computer program.

Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum links: English, Health and Physical Education, Humanities, Digital Technologies, Visual Arts

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