Press Release – AFL Club St Kilda
AFL players and officials from the St Kilda Football Club arrive in Wellington tonight to take part in the first AFL Community Camp in New Zealand.
To kick off the three day camp, the Saints will launch the ticket sale on Thursday for the first AFL (Aussie Rules) competition game in New Zealand on Anzac Day.
In an international first, St Kilda will come to Wellington as part of the 2013 AFL premiership season to take on the reigning premiers, the Sydney Swans.
“The AFL Community Camp is a great opportunity for our Club to increase our involvement with the City of Wellington and allow us to get to know the community,” Head coach Scott Watters said.
“These camps provide a tremendous boost to communities across Australia and we’re hoping we can do the same in New Zealand. We want to immerse ourselves in the Wellington culture and encourage them to become involved with St Kilda Football Club.”
During the camp, the Saints will take part in a host of activities, including an AFL Super Clinic, open training sessions and meeting the Wellington sporting fans.
Thursday 24 January;
11.45am AFL Combine (testing session) at ASB Stadium
St Kilda players will assist with the AFL Combine, which will involve talented local players.
2.30pm Meet Wellington Hurricanes players at Hutt Recreation Ground
AFL clubs use the annual community camps to launch the premiership season by showcasing and promoting the game, as well as participate in community activities.
In a symbolic gesture, the Saints will travel across the harbour in a waka as part of a welcoming ceremony at the Wharewaka on Friday at 3.30pm.
Aussie Rules game is the jewel in the crown of a major marketing campaign to champion Wellington to Australian tourists and to commemorate the day that binds both nations together.
The event, which is part of Anzac Week in Wellington, is intended to attract thousands of Australian AFL supporters here as well as New Zealanders who are curious to experience an Aussie Rules game played by two of the top clubs.
“The event is a St Kilda, AFL and Wellington City Council partnership and an historic occasion for us. Economic impact reports suggest the spend from players, officials and supporters will amount to a multi-million dollar injection into the Wellington economy. The event will also strengthen the links between Wellington and Melbourne,” senior City Councillor, John Morrison, said.
The three day community camp concludes on Australia Day, Saturday. Tickets for the April 25 game will be on sale at Ticketek from tomorrow.