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Beyond the Bale : June 2015
8 OFF FARM GETS FANS TALKING AWI’s Fibre of Football campaign continues to grow, with huge demand for the Merino wool football jumpers and supporter apparel. The campaign has the backing from many past and present footballers and sporting pundits. FIBRE OF FOOTBALL From a basic concept, the Fibre of Football campaign has grown to capture the attention and the imagination of the Australian football public. With the help of a growing list of keen AFL stars keen to celebrate their country roots, the Fibre of Football campaign simply aims to remind people of the importance of woolgrowing to Australia, linking our natural fibre to our native game. Round 5 of the AFL season saw the culmination of a lot of campaign work with a flurry of activity. Melbourne midfielder Bernie Vince, son of a Yorke Peninsula woolgrower and former shearer Tim Vince displayed his shearing skills in front of the football media on the MCG. As a shearer trainer with AWI’s predecessor, the Australian Wool Corporation, Tim was confident Bernie would give a good account of Melbourne's popular radio show 3AW Breakfast with Ross and John broadcast a special Fibre of Football show from the Duke of Wellington pub to officially launch the range of woollen supporter gear and Knit Kits. John Burns (left) and Ross Stevenson (right), joined by 3AW football commentators Tony Leonard and Tim Lane. Channel 7’s Friday Night Football show team after airing the AWI-produced Nat Fyfe video and highlighting the availability of woollen AFL supporter gear: Cameron Ling, Wayne Carey and Hamish McLachlan. Melbourne midfielder Bernie Vince shearing a sheep on the MCG in front of the media. himself. By shearing the first sheep shorn on the ‘paddock that grew’ for the best part of 200 years, he certainly did. Melbourne’s top rating radio breakfast program, 3AW’s Ross and John dedicated their Friday morning program to the Fibre of Football, officially launching the woollen range of AFL jumpers, beanies, scarves, gloves and Learn to Knit Kits. As part of their Friday Night Football presentation, Channel 7 was the first to air the Nat Fyfe Fibre of Football video. Produced in house at AWI, the video was seen by more than half a million people that night and has since been viewed 600,000 times via Facebook. The Tom Hawkins video, also available on YouTube, has more than 250,000 views. Celebrity Merino rams Fred and Truffle took to the streets of Melbourne and gained the attention of many thousands of stunned commuters on their way to and from work. Opening the Fox Footy AFL 360 program was also a highlight, as was the live shearing later during the show. Woolgrowers enjoyed free entry to the Melbourne vs Fremantle game, an offer taken up by more than 2000 people via the AWI monthly e-newsletter to woolgrowers. Many fans also called in on a Fibre of Football exhibition outside the ground where lambs, shearing, wool spinning and knitting were on show before the game. Three bales of wool have been placed in the foyer at AFL House. ‘Springfield #26’ stands behind a Geelong wool jumper to represent Tom Hawkins, ‘Pine Hill #22’ is behind a Hawthorn jumper to represent Luke Breust’s family property at Temora, and ‘Tico Vale’ – the name of the farm on which Bernie Vince grew up on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula – is behind a woollen Melbourne jumper.