New boots, jumpers and footballs were just some of the items donated by the Fremantle Dockers to Fair Game at Keep Australia Beautiful's Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Awards at Optus Stadium last Friday.
A long-standing partner of the club, Fair Game came onboard at the beginning of the 2013 season and hasn’t looked back since.
Fair Game’s work in the community is significant, with a blend of healthy lifestyle programs, activities and recycled sporting equipment delivered to remote communities across WA.
Fremantle’s community goals manager Graham Mills said the partnership with Fair Game had evolved over an eight-year period.
“Our partnership commenced in 2013, with our major event being at one of our fixtured games at Subiaco Oval,” Mills said.
“We placed bins around the ground where our fans and members could come along and donate used equipment.
“Since then, it has progressed to getting our players involved where they can donate and be part of a boot drive, which the players have been kind enough to do again this year.
“We also have a bright, blue Fair Game bin at the club's reception in which any member of the general public can come along and donate any kind of sporting equipment, not just football related.
“That initiative has been really successful for us with the traffic that we receive at our shared Cockburn ARC facility.”
Fremantle AFLW defender Laura Pugh became involved with Fair Game as part of her practical assessment during her university studies.
Pugh has stayed involved with the program and annually visits the remote community of Nullagine in WA’s Pilbara region to facilitate programs with children in the local community.
“The combination of running the sporting programs and the education of a healthy lifestyle was quite appealing to me,” Pugh said.
“Being able to go out to these communities that are as remote as they are under-serviced was quite rewarding.
“We take up all donated sporting equipment from Perth and the metropolitan area and we use it during sporting activities to get the kids engaged.”
Mills believes the initiatives set by Fair Game will help community sport and healthy education programs grow right across WA.
“It’s really great to see the impact we can have, particularly in regional areas of Western Australia, Mills said.
“I got to witness this first-hand through our Next Generation programs we’ve run in previous years throughout the Kimberley.
“We were running footy clinics and kids were in bare feet or even just socks purely because the old leather footballs they were using were hurting their feet.
“What really excites us having Fair Game as a partner moving forward is achieving that end goal where all kids are afforded the opportunity to play sport.
“We have seen this year more than any other, the impact that sport in general has in uniting communities.”