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Beyond the Bale : September 2014
OFF FARM 5 Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and former Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty both represent country electorates and proudly wear their wool footy jumpers at Sheepvention in Hamilton, next to Stephen Glen of Wattlebank Merino Stud. PHOTO: Damian White, The Warrnambool Standard. Tom Hawkins and Nat Fyfe feel very at home sitting on quad bikes amongst the sheep at the Poplars Merino stud near Geelong. Victoria says, “in country towns the footy club is the lifeblood, we all gather together on a Saturday and we come and watch the football. The wool industry and football are intertwined and they are the most important things going on around here.” FYFE AND HAWKINS JOIN THE CAMPAIGN AWI is delighted to announce that two of the very best AFL players not only have wool connections but have joined the campaign to help promote the wool industry through football. From Lake Grace in WA, Nat Fyfe’s family runs its transport business carting wool, livestock and grain. With a road train license, Nat helps out when he can and enjoys the time on the road as a healthy balance to the fishbowl life of being an AFL superstar for Fremantle. Having completed a shearing school many years ago and currently studying to be a helicopter pilot, Nat certainly has a diverse range of skills beyond being the best footballer in the country according to many expert commentators. His humble nature, love of the country and willingness to give back to the communities that supported him is as clear as his immense natural skill. He is the face of the AFL junior program known as Auskick in WA. Geelong full forward Tom Hawkins was born an AFL player. Son of Geelong’s “Jumping Jack” Hawkins there was never any doubt about Tom’s destiny. From a wool, cropping and rice property from Finley, NSW, Tom is also keen to return to the country one day but for now he is clearly enjoying being the focal point of the Geelong Football Club’s best ever run with premierships in 2009, 2011 and 2013. The career of this charming man included his Grand Final winning performance in 2011 where he booted three goals to get his club over the line and send hundreds of thousands of Geelong fans into hysteria. A colossus, Tom’s strength and power around goal have him etched deeply in the game’s history as one of the great full forwards of the game. Both Nat Fyfe and Tom Hawkins joined the Fibre of Football because they wish to promote the importance of farming and woolgrowing to the greater community and AWI is delighted to be working with such outstanding men. Two of the very best AFL players in the country, Tom Hawkins and Nat Fyfe, have joined the campaign to help promote the fibre through football. Both have strong connections to the wool industry. The Coleraine Football Club in western Victoria is the first country footy club in Australia to wear the wool blend `MerinoPerforḿ tops. The club trialled them for a few months and then ordered 70 of them.