THE Fremantle Dockers made history this week, becoming the first Australian sporting team to launch a player-backed charity fund.
The entire Dockers team will dip into their own pockets to give money to the Fremantle Players Community Giving Fund, which will be used to help disadvantaged young people in the local community.
The first two groups to receive inaugural grants from the team’s fund are the Fremantle PCYC and Night Hoops, a Perth organisation that holds weekly basketball tournaments for at-risk teens.
“Playing AFL is a privilege,” Dockers veteran David Mundy says.
“And one opportunity we have as a result is to support the community around us.
“In this case through our personal giving.”
Fremantle Foundation helped set up the fund and CEO Dylan Smith says he hopes other sporting stars will follow the Dockers’ lead and put their hands in their pockets.
“We believe this is the first sporting team in Australia to become philanthropists all together, as a group like this,” Mr Smith says.
“I’d love more organisations to do it and more professional sportspeople to do it.
“We’re still early days in philanthropy in Australia, really as an industry and a culture.
“I’m not sure we can say we expect everyone to do it, because everyone’s different and personal decisions are theirs, but I would love to see more people do it.”
by EMILEE NEESON