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AFL National Inclusion Carnival kicks off in Ipswich

Queensland takes home the Premiership in Division 2 at the 2022 Toyota National Inclusion Carnival. Photo credit: AFL Photos.

Ipswich will welcome more than 160 male footballers with an intellectual disability who will represent their state or territory in the annual 2023 Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival.

Acting Ipswich Mayor Russell Milligan said Ipswich was proud to host the 2023 Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival, featuring 44 matches over four days.

“Ipswich is a sports-mad city and we understand the transformative effect participating in sport can have on physical and mental wellbeing,” Acting Mayor Milligan said.

“Council is committed to supporting initiatives and partnerships that encourage participation in community life, celebrate diversity and contribute to a happy, healthy and active community.”

“Ipswich City Council is proud to provide $9,000 in financial sponsorship as well as in-kind support to the value of $19,588 for the 2023 Toyota Australia AFL National Inclusion Carnival.”

Community Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said the AFL’s National Inclusion Carnival was a good example of the inclusiveness of sport.

“It’s wonderful footballers with an intellectual disability have the opportunity to showcase their significant football abilities to the broader community,” Cr Fechner said.

“The carnival is also a chance for the community to connect with players, as local schools will have the opportunity to come and meet the players and the public is welcome to attend all games for free.”

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said matches, finals and grand final at Brighton Homes Arena are the perfect set up for the carnival.

“Brighton Homes Arena is an $80 million world-class AFL stadium and the only venue in Australia that provides elite training and recovery facilities for both professional men’s and women’s AFL,” Cr Tully said.

Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said Ipswich’s reputation for hosting major events continues to grow.

“Our AFL sporting facilities are second to none and our community is a safe, inclusive and welcoming place that makes Ipswich the ideal host for major sporting events,” Cr Jonic said.

The 2023 Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival runs from 8 October to 13 October 2023 at Springfield Central Sports Complex, with finals at Brighton Homes Arena.

Delivered by the AFL and AFL Queensland and with APM Employment Services coming on board as supporting partner, Springfield will host 72 matches with more than 160 athletes and support staff set to participate.

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