Two of Victoria’s most dedicated Community Ambassadors have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to Australian Football this season at AFL Victoria’s 2018 Community Celebration event on Sunday.
Community Ambassadors Avtar Singh and Kapil Thakkar have been acknowledged for their tireless work introducing diverse communities to Australian Football with the 2018 Community Ambassador of the Year award and AFL Victoria’s Best First Year Community Ambassador award respectively.
Working closely with AFL Victoria, the Essendon District Football League and Indian community, Singh was pivotal in the transition of the local Indian Auskick Centre into a new junior football club- the Hume Bombers.
In its debut year, the Hume Bombers fielded two junior teams with more than 80 registered participants pulling on the boots.
In addition, Singh has also been a key driver in connecting the Indian community to the football family, working with Essendon FC to organise the annual Embracing India Game in Round 19 this year, as well as bringing a number of Hume Bomber players and their families to watch Essendon FC games across the season.
In his debut year as a Community Ambassador, Kapil Thakkar has been involved with a number of key projects in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Working alongside North Melbourne Football Club and Werribee Football Club, Thakkar was instrumental in organising the Welcome to Wyndham Day, which saw over 500 new Australians attend their first ever VFL match.
In addition, Thakkar has been a key driver working behind the scenes with the Shaandar Sub-Continent Auskick Centre, NMFC Welcome to AFL event and worked tirelessly to bring together the 2018 Dosti Cup, which saw hundreds of locals witness India secure its first win over Pakistan.
The 2018 AFL Victoria Community Celebration also saw a number of other worthy volunteers and program participants recognised for their efforts this season, receiving an AFL Values Award after best demonstrating the values of fair play, team work, passion and win.
These awards were presented to volunteers and participants who were involved in a range of AFL Victoria’s diversity programs throughout 2018, including the FIDA Football League, Laguntas Program, Female Kickstart/Boorimul program and the Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League.
See below for a list of award winners for 2018:
- Play Fair Award: Marcus Sanders (VWFL St.Kilda captain)
- Play with Passion Award: Cathy Alifraco (FIDA Program volunteer)
- Play to Win Award: Marissa Williamson (Female Kickstart/Boorimul)
- Play as a Team Award: Kobe Brown (Laguntas Program)
- Community Ambassador of the Year Award: Avtar Singh
- Best First Year Community Ambassador of the Year: Kapil Thakkar