Media Release – 7 September 2012

Local community based North East AFL club the Tuggeranong Hawks have been advised by the AFL that they need to show how they will improve their current financial position and competitiveness within the next six weeks to secure their place in the competition.

In response, the club has today launched the ‘Help the Hawks’ campaign, a call for the business community to support the club through a financial contribution and for local residents to buy a membership in order to meet the conditions set by the AFL.

“The AFL wants to see us fight for our club and show them that our local community care about our inclusion in the NEAFL competition.  With over 500 players in junior divisions right through to the elite level, we think we have a club worth fighting for and desperately need local business and the community to get behind us and cement our place in the competition in 2013,” said Tuggeranong Hawks General Manager David Graham.

“South Canberra needs to continue to field an NEAFL team at the elite level.  If the Hawks are asked to leave the NEAFL, we’ll lose an important talent pathway for our local Canberra players to make the National AFL competition,” David continued.

The Hawks are the only NEAFL club without the benefit of ongoing revenue from their own licensed club premises.  This makes it a struggle to secure playing talent in a competition where they come up against the likes of the Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney.  It also increases their reliance on support from the local business community and residents.

Pre-election commitments of $500,000 for social rooms and facilities at the club’s home-ground Greenway Oval have been made by the ACT Government.  This is part of a longer term strategy to support the financial viability of the Tuggeranong Hawks.  However, the club requires immediate short-term assistance to secure its future in the NEAFL.

Garnering recent media attention by playing controversial ex-AFL star Jason Akermanis, the Tuggeranong Hawks are a key pathway to the National AFL competition for up-and-coming Canberra players.  AFL stars such as Aaron Hamil (Carlton, St Kilda), Justin Blumfield (Essendon) and Jason Tutt (Western Bulldogs) all learnt their craft through the club’s junior pathways program, and being asked to leave the elite competition will limit opportunities for future local players to make the AFL.

Local Tuggeranong businesses Just Cuts Hair Salon, AMF Bowling, One Sportswear and GJA Maintenance & Construction are the first to pledge their support as part of the ‘Help the Hawks’ campaign.  The club has also received generous financial support from rival club Eastlake Football Club, Southern Cross Club and their other 2012 sponsors.  However, they need more businesses, residents and clubs to come forward to secure their future.  Sponsorships, donations and membership applications can be made at www.tuggeranongfc.com.au

For images and to arrange an interview with club management and players please contact General Manager David Graham on 0408 325 753 or [email protected]

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