Bendigo footballers to learn about far-reaching impacts of violence     

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AFL Central Victoria and The Pat Cronin Foundation  

As many as 30,000 young footballers in Bendigo are set to become part of our efforts to stamp out the Coward Punch.  

We’re thrilled to announce a partnership with AFL Central Victoria, under which we’ll be on hand to help educate players about appropriate responses to anger and aggression – both on and off the playing field.

Our Partnerships Manager Steve Layt, pictured above centre, joined in an announcement of the initiative, signed ahead of the first round of the Bendigo Football Netball League (BFNL) season launch on April 9, 2022.

The BFNL will headline the partnership by hosting a Pat Cronin Foundation-themed round.

Why it matters

BFNL General Manager Cameron Tomlins said the league was keen to be at the forefront of moves to raise awareness of the potential far-reaching impacts of violence and giving young people the tools to avoid it.

“As a responsible sports association, we are committed to ensuring our players understand how to deal with emotions, particularly in the context of the game,” said Mr Tomlins.

“These are also valuable life skills outside of sport, and we are delighted to be joining forces  with the Pat Cronin Foundation – whose Be Wise educational programs are widely respected in schools and sports clubs right throughout Victoria and beyond.”         

A big step forward in Central Victoria

The new partnership is a significant step in promoting awareness of the Foundation in Central Victoria.

While our specific goal is to end the Coward Punch, we are eager to work with sports clubs as well as schools with specially tailored and fully funded educational presentations.  

The initiative with AFL Central Victoria and the BFNL will help us spread our message, which is particularly relevant in the rough and tumble of competitive sport – where emotions are often running high.

Outside of sport, we know that thousands of people are hospitalised each year in Australia due to violence. There are often many tragic lifelong consequences for the victims, as well as the perpetrators and families.

By giving young people everywhere an understanding of Pat’s story, raising awareness of the impact of violence and offering practical tips and strategies to deal with anger and aggression, we hope to reduce the statistics.

Lead-up to Pat Cronin round

As part of the partnership, the BFNL will host a special Pat Cronin round, when Sandhurst FNC takes on Eaglehawk in all senior grades at the Queen Elizabeth Oval on May 21. Players from each team will wear a yellow armband in memory of Pat during the game.

AFL Central Victoria will promote the Foundation on its online platforms, through the BFNL TV platform, and through the BFNL Barry Plant Stats Tracker. As well, the Foundation will be promoted within all leagues of Central Victoria (BFNL, HDFNL, LVFNL, CVFL Women’s, CMFNL, GRFNL, BJFL and the NCFL).

Along with AFL Central Victoria and the BFNL, we would like to acknowledge Barry Plant Bendigo for its support in this partnership.

Barry Plant is a major sponsor of AFL Central Victoria, the BFNL and the Pat Cronin Foundation. The three organisations are proud to share this connection and share the same values in eradicating the Coward Punch.

To keep up to date with this story and others, check out our Facebook page. To book a Be Wise presentation, click here or email us at Be wise. Think carefully. Act kindly.

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