When the 2021 StreetSmarts AFLQSchools Cup kicks off in a couple of weeks, not only will the competition give school children the opportunity to play AFL but to also learn about the importance of road safety.
AFL Queensland has teamed up with the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and the Gold Coast SUNS to encourage AFL participants and fans to lead the way in driver education and road safety.
The partnership, announced today at Metricon Stadium, will see the SUNS and AFLQ support TMR’s StreetSmarts road safety program, and work with the Department to bring about social change and encourage safe driver behaviour.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey welcomed the commitment of the SUNS and AFLQ to improving the safety of all road users.
“We all have a role to play in making our roads safer. That includes industry, businesses, schools, parents and the broader community,” Mr Bailey said.
“I’m delighted that the Gold Coast SUNS and AFL Queensland are taking a leadership position in the important area of road safety.”
“The profile of AFL in Queensland has never been higher after hosting the national competition and grand final in 2020.”
Head of AFL Queensland, Trisha Squires, said its vehicle to raise awareness of road safety across Queensland would be through the AFLQ Schools Cup – Queensland’s premier state-wide schools competition.
“The StreetSmarts AFLQ Schools Cup will see more than 12,000 students participating in the competition right across Queensland and northern New South Wales,” she said.
“From Cairns to Byron Bay, more than 600 teams will take part in gala days in every region, culminating in a finals day on the Sunshine Coast in October.”
“I’d encourage teachers across the state to nominate their teams and get ready for the biggest year the competition has seen.”
Gold Coast SUNS Chief Executive Officer Mark Evans said the SUNS’ focus would be to ‘coach’ the community about road safety and that this partnership supports the club’s vision to be leaders in this area.
“We know that road trauma impacts the community at unprecedented levels, and we want to play a key role in addressing this with our community,” he said.
“We are really excited about this partnership with TMR and AFL Queensland and the opportunities to raise road safety awareness and drive meaningful change amongst our members and fans.”
The SUNS will promote road safety messaging to AFL fans, club members, corporate partners and the wider community via the club digital channels and at home games at Metricon Stadium.
Mr Bailey encouraged the AFL community to support the efforts to eliminate road trauma.
“AFL fans from around the State can show their support for road safety as part of this partnership,” he said.
“If we all make a commitment to take action together, to talk to one another about being safe on the roads, and to keep making road safety a priority, our vision for zero lives lost can be a reality.”
The AFL season kicks off on 18 March with the SUNS first home game on 27 March.
Visit https://streetsmarts.initiatives.qld.gov.au/ for more advice about staying safe on the road.