AFLQ at NAIDOC celebrations

Brisbane Lions player, Ash McGrath, joined AFLQ to celebrate NAIDOC Week last week.

Brisbane Lions 200-gamer, Ash McGrath, helped AFL Queensland celebrate NAIDOC Week.

McGrath joined the AFLQ stall at Musgrave Park’s Family Fun Day – NAIDOC celebrations, helping out some little footy fans.

The Lions premiership player, who was recruited from Western Australia, said it was great to see such a large turnout to the South Brisbane festivities.

“With our schedule, this is the first time in a couple of years that I’ve been able to get down here and it’s really great to see it growing so much,” he said.

“It means a lot to me to be able to help celebrate this.”

After more than a decade at the elite level, McGrath said reaching his 200-game milestone against Geelong was incredibly special.

“Two of my brothers played AFL and Corey only made it to 78 games, so I realise how difficult it is to play 200 games,” he said.

‘And to be able to get a win and that fairy tale ending (kicking a goal after the siren), that was pretty great.”

With plenty of aspiring footy youngster among the crowd, McGrath said the most important thing about sport was doing it because you love it.

“I think it doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing, you just need to do what you love,” he said.

“I love playing footy and I always have.”

“I’m the kind of guy who slept with a footy in his bed. I think that’s what’s helped me stay around for so long.”

AFL Queensland Indigenous Programs Manager, Jesse Green, said the NAIDOC celebrations provided an important way for indigenous people to share their backgrounds and cultures with other sections of the community.

“NAIDOC week is a great time for indigenous people to celebrate and showcase our culture to the non-indigenous community of Australia,” he said.

“This is also a great time for non-indigenous people to learn the history of our people and help connect to indigenous communities from there areas.

Green said sport plays a key role in bringing communities together and the NAIDOC festival was a great way to promote this to people of all ages.

“Sport is a great way for communities to come together and it was good way to interact with the children and parents of the festival, using AFL as a vehicle to promote healthy choice and active lifestyles.”

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