AFL and Maple Community Services team up to champion inclusivity in Sport

The AFL is proud to announce a new partnership that’s set to champion inclusivity within the game, welcoming Maple Community Services as the ‘Official NDIS Support Service Partner’ of the AFL and AFLW for the next three years.
By joining forces with Maple Community Services, the AFL reinforces its commitment to inclusion and diversity, further developing an environment where everyone, regardless of ability, can participate and flourish in Australian Rules football.
In an Australian first, the AFL and Maple partnership will see an elite sport and NDIS service partner provide training and education to football clubs around the country to assist in inclusivity, including physical sessions and access for clubs to host open days for people with a disability – providing expertise and equipment to facilitate.
Throughout the partnership, Maple Community Services will provide the AFL’s disability and inclusion programs 25 wheelchairs each year, and support the Toyota National Inclusion Carnival. Marvel Stadium staff will also benefit from the collaboration, with training and education modules provided by Maple Service’s experts, including physical training to enhance their practical skills to assist individuals with disabilities.
Marvel Stadium patrons will have the opportunity to experience the importance of inclusivity in sport at selected match days with an interactive activation providing the opportunity to get involved in trying a vision impaired goal kicking activity, and a vision impaired handballing game - another touchpoint the partnership is delivering from fans, to participants, to Stadium staff.
Executive General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch said the partnership is further progress in the AFL’s growth to becoming a more inclusive game.
“We are committed to increasing inclusiveness within the AFL and broader football community, and we welcome Maple Community Services to the AFL family as we continue our depth of understanding in learning how to be more accessible for all people living with disabilities,” Hosch said.
“The partnership will support us in our responsibilities to provide resources and infrastructure across AFL’s programs and broader football community, working towards dismantling barriers, addressing stereotypes, and forging a brighter future for people with disability in the football community.”
Chief Executive Officer of Maple Community Services Irshad Mulla expressed excitement about the partnership.
"We are privileged to collaborate with the AFL in championing inclusivity and accessibility in football,” Mulla said.
"Our shared vision is to cultivate a more inclusive sporting landscape where every individual feels valued and empowered to participate. Together, we will endeavor to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities through the transformative power of sport."
The partnership between Maple Community Services and the AFL marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a more inclusive and diverse sporting community.
For further information about Maple Community Services and their services, please visit


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