Fremantle forward Bailey Banfield has encouraged Fremantle members and supporters to get right behind the Club’s first MAKE OUR MARK charity game when Freo take on Brisbane at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
As well as the clash featuring the second and third placed teams on the AFL ladder going head-to-head, Fremantle will also be showcasing the work of the Purple Hands Foundation and raise awareness and funds for the work it does in the community.
Banfield has seen first-hand the work of the Purple Hands Foundation in the community, travelling to Broome last September for the inaugural Kimberley 9s carnival that celebrated and rewarded hundreds of local kids for their good work at school.
“It’s awesome that this week is the Make Our Mark charity game for the Purple Hands Foundation. I personally went up with the Purple Hands Foundation in the last off-season to Broome, which is where I’m from, and took part in the Kimberley 9s program, which essentially got 300 students to play footy on Cable Beach, which was pretty awesome,” Banfield said.
“If the kids had hit some markers at school, if their attendance was good and they’d been well behaved, they were nominated by their teachers to go and play in a tournament with schools from all around the Kimberley on Cable Beach.
“My old school Broome Primary were there. We also had schools from Indigenous communities as well like Yakanarra and Looma, which was great to see.
“All these kids got together, played a few games on Cable Beach in the morning and then had a sausage sizzle and lunch. It was a really fun experience and great to be a part of.”
Fremantle will also showcase some of WA’s All Abilities footballers on the big stage, including Will Brenssell from the Swan Districts All Abilities Football Team, who will perform the ceremonial first kick.
“I watched the blind football competition when the Purple Hands Foundation hosted them at the Club, and they had the opportunity to come to our facility here and play their games,” Banfield said.
“They still kick and handball and have so much fun with each other which is great, because everyone deserves the opportunity to play the game they love and to experience that first hand.
“It’s great that the Purple Hands Foundation really gives everyone the opportunity to play football and that’s what we’re working towards, to allow everyone to play the game and love the game as well.”
Fans are encouraged to donate $10 at the game and Banfield encouraged everyone to get out and support both Freo and the cause.
“It should be a great match on the weekend and Brisbane are a really strong side,” Banfield said.
“It’s another great opportunity for us to show that our method is good enough to beat the best sides, which we showed on the weekend (against Melbourne) and hopefully we can show that again.
“It’s a great opportunity for the fans to come. If they’ve got $10 to spare for the purple hands foundation, that will go a long way to help us give back to our community.”