Collingwood has taken out the ANZAC Day clash against Essendon in front of the biggest crowd at the MCG since COVID began.
The Pies thrashed the Bombers 93-82 in what has become one of Australia’s biggest annual sporting events.
The ANZAC Day clash, which began in 1995 to a crowd of over 94,000 people, has seen RSL Victoria work closely with the two teams to highlight the ANZAC Appeal and pay respect to those who have served.
While fans are either celebrating or commiserating, it’s a game that is so much more about the meaning of ANZAC Day, than winning or losing.
As is tradition, an emotive pre-game service gives the crowd and players the opportunity to pay their respects to current and ex-serving men and women.
A Motorcade of veterans has become an integral part of the day, which sees service men and women given a lap of honour around the G while their service histories are read out.
In a unique feature for the ANZAC Day match, players from both sides run through a single squad banner as a symbolic gesture of unity in times of war. Footballers who lost their lives in war are listed on the banner.
With just minutes until bounce and the crowd excitement building, the MCG falls silent for a minute in respect of those who have served, as part of the ANZAC Day observance ceremony.
The Ode is recited and the Last Post rings out.
This year, the ANZAC Medal was awarded to Collingwood’s Jack Ginnivan, who played his first ANZAC Day game.
"It hasn’t really sunk in yet…it’s obviously pretty significant but it hasn’t sunk in yet"
Jack told the press conference after the match.
The Medal was first awarded in 2000, and goes to the player who best demonstrates the ANZAC Spirit of skill, courage, self sacrifice, teamwork and fair play.
ANZAC APPEAL VOLUNTEERS
A strong contingent of enthusiastic volunteers welcomes footy goers to the MCG armed with ANZAC Appeal trays, a cash tin and EFTPOS machines.
Generous donors can take their pick from a range of ANZAC badges, with all money raised going to support veterans and their families in times of need.
Dallas and Emily
Civilians, like mother daughter team Dallas and Emily are committed to the cause, with this ANZAC Day their fourth year in a row volunteering.
"It's been a fantastic day. I think COVID has brought everyone in and they really want to buy a badge, so it's been amazing."
The duo have been volunteering for the Appeal for four years.
“The passion brings us back. Bringing all the Victorians together and they just want a badge, they want to donate and of course the contribution we can give back to RSL Victoria!”
Emily says she just likes to volunteer and help out.
"I like the atmosphere, and seeing how people like to contribute to different things and how they have different passions going to the footy and buying badges."
Apparently, it’s not so bad hanging out with mum, either.
“It’s wild, it’s fun! We’re all over the place.”
Dallas says aside from the joy of volunteering and raising money for a worthy cause, their focus is on the importance of ANZAC Day.
“It’s time of reflection and remembering the sacrifices that people have made in the past and by us just taking that moment to really appreciate what they have done for our country.”
Dallas and Emily volunteered at the MCG alongside representatives from the Australian Army, Navy and Air Force.
Able Seaman Michael Warner has served for six years and is living his dream
“It was always something I wanted to do since school and I’ve never looked back.”
He’s been selling ANZAC badges for the first time and absolutely loving it.
"Just lucky to be here and I’m a footy fan too so that’s a bonus! But it’s about giving back and just helping. I get donations for a good cause"
Rose is in her fifth year of volunteering for the ANZAC Appeal at the G.
“People come together, it’s like one big family, no matter who you are, what you do, we unite and get behind the fundraising.
“At the end of the day, it’s for the same terrific mission and cause,” she says.