The AFLUA in partnership with the AFL, Apricot Consulting, the family of Fiona McBurney and Downs Syndrome Victoria launched its newest program last night at Ikon Park.
Brad Thomas, the fund raising and public relations manager of Down Syndrome Victoria encapsulated the program best when he said, “you might take it for granted that you can walk out onto the MCG every weekend but what you will do over the next season for the young participants will give them a life experience they will never forget.”
Delia McBurney, spoke on behalf of the McBurney family thanking the AFL for naming the program after her aunty. “Fiona participated in the program in 2008 and loved every moment of walking into Etihad Stadium. She particularly loved the umpires food after the game, a chocolate muffin”, laughed Delia.
Adrian Panozzo, CEO of Apricot Consulting who helped Chris Donlon to broker the arrangement with DSV was particularly pleased to be involved in the program again because of the life experience it gives to the participants. “As umpires you should know that you are involved in a program that offers the participants a great opportunity to be in the inner sanctum of elite sport. As you leave the ground after your match remember you have helped leave an imprint on a young persons life they will remember for a long time.”
The AFLUA supports Chris Donlon in wanting to make a difference in the lives of others. Chris said to Brad Thomas, “it’s not all one way the umpires like me get a lot out of being part of this program. Thank-you.”
Please see video from the launch on AFLUA home page.