On Sunday 22nd AFLUA members volunteered at Down Syndrome Victoria’s annual StepUp! for Down Syndrome event, helping raise $45,574 to provide support for people with Down syndrome and their families.

Ex-umps Michael Sneddon and Steve McBurney joined current 196 gamer Rob O’Gorman in the walk around Princes Park and sporting activities for participants with Down syndrome. Even umpire mascot Anita Goal was in attendance to cheer on the walkers as they made their way around the 3km walking track.

The event is held during Down syndrome Awareness Month every October, however, due to three years of Covid interruption and one extreme weather event raining on the parade, this was the first time the day had gone ahead since 2019.

The AFLUA is a proud supporter of Down Syndrome Victoria. The Fiona McBurney programme runs during the AFL season, allowing participants with Down Syndrome to attend games as an umpire trainer, chaperoned by a volunteer ex-ump. The programme is named in honour of Steve McBurney’s sister, a football lover who was affected by Down syndrome.

Today a luncheon is being held to thank and celebrate the 15 chaperones who helped to make the programme possible this year.

Thanks to Michael, Steve and Rob for volunteering to contribute to a such an important cause.

Article By Jackson Kerr

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