Essendon Football Club and Collingwood Football Club are ‘Joining Forces’ in a new campaign ahead of the annual ANZAC Day traditional blockbuster at the MCG.
In partnership with RSL Victoria, the Bombers and Magpies will be promoting and supporting the 2018 ANZAC Appeal to raise funds for veterans who have served our country.
RSL Victoria State President, Dr Robert Webster OAM, said the initiative would have a significant impact on the lives of veterans.
“We support veterans right across Victoria, and we are focusing our energy and resources on the current generation of young veterans, some of whom are in their 20s and 30s,” Webster said.
“These young veterans are the same age as the current playing groups at Essendon and Collingwood, but their life experience is completely different, and some of them desperately need our help.
“Thank you to the media for partnering with us and helping to spread our message by donating to the ANZAC Appeal you are helping veterans in times of need.”
‘Joining Forces’ was launched at the MCG on Wednesday morning with RSL Victoria State President, Dr Robert Webster OAM, Collingwood President Eddie McGuire, Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell, Collingwood CEO Mark Andrews and AFL Legend and ANZAC Day match pioneer Kevin Sheedy all in attendance.
Veteran musician Mike Brady opened formalities with a verse from his upcoming new release, ‘We Built This Place’, with the extended version set to be exclusively revealed on ANZAC Day.
In conjunction with apparel partner ISC, both clubs unveiled their 2018 ANZAC Day guernsey designs, with proceeds from the jumper sales and the match worn jumpers signed and auctioned post-game, going to the ANZAC Appeal.
As part of Joining Forces, Essendon and Collingwood will be taking part in a number of initiatives including player fundraising and veteran yoga.
Essendon CEO, Xavier Campbell, said it was important for the clubs to acknowledge the significance of ANZAC Day and join forces to support those who have served.
“Both clubs are enormously privileged to play on ANZAC Day, and to honour what this day means to all Australians,” Campbell said.
“We are thrilled to be joining forces to raise funds for those who have given so much for their country, for our way of life.
“The power of our two clubs uniting together is huge. We now have the responsibility to use that power to help raise awareness and funds.”
Collingwood CEO, Mark Anderson, said the club was humbled by the role that it plays in remembering the sacrifice our service men and women have made to Australia.
“We are proud to be joining forces with Essendon and raising money to support our veterans, many of whom are the same age as the footballers who will be playing at the MCG on ANZAC Day,” Anderson said.
“It’s wonderful to see players from both clubs really embrace the importance of playing on ANZAC Day and have a genuine understanding of what the day means to all Australians.
“It is very relevant to my role as Collingwood CEO, given the role our club plays in recognising and remembering our service men and women and it is also very personally relevant.
“Like many Australian families who have a similar history, my grandfather fought on the Western Front 100 years ago.
“All those who have come before us have established a proud legacy for our armed forces across our nation’s past and recent history; a legacy that continues to play out for our current service men and women.
“The veterans who are asking for help are getting younger and younger, and as Victorians we need to show them support and appreciation for their service. Making a contribution will make a difference across many lives.”
Collingwood and Essendon will go head to head on April 25 in the ANZAC Day match at the MCG.
To donate to the ANZAC Appeal, click here.