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Beyond the Bale : September 2018
14 OFF FARM AFL CAPTAINS’ WOOLLY WESTERN DERBY Photographed in retro woollen footy jumpers, with some prize-winning WA Merino rams, the pair joined forces to champion Australia’s wool industry – supporting the farmers, shearers, transport operators, fashion designers and retailers behind the natural product. Since 2014, the Fibre of Football campaign has highlighted the strong and enduring connections between Australian football and the wool industry. Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins, Hawthorn’s Luke Breust, Melbourne’s Bernie Vince and Channel 7 commentator Hamish McLachlan have all shared their deep connection to the fibre through a series of campaign videos. West Coast Eagles captain Shannon Hurn has joined AWI’s Fibre of Football campaign – and on the eve of the Western Derby at the start of August, he caught up with Fremantle Dockers captain and fellow campaign supporter Nat Fyfe in a photoshoot to promote Australian wool. WOOL SHOWCASE AT THE MCG During a big weekend of footy at the MCG last month, a pop-up shop was installed selling woollen supporter gear. Round 20 at the MCG was always going to be big – with top of the table Richmond battling Geelong on Friday night, Hawthorn taking on Essendon on Saturday, and Melbourne clashing with Gold Coast on Sunday. Nearly 160,000 footy fans went through the turnstiles with many stopping in at a special pop-up shop installed at the ground selling Fibre of Football woollen supporter gear. With temperatures barely scraping into double figures, the high quality woollen products – jumpers, scarves, beanies and gloves – were not only perfect as a momento of the supporters’ favourite teams, but they were also ideal for keeping the fans warm at the match and onwards during the winter months. The Hawthorn Hawks’ mascots at the pop-up shop showing off the woollen supporter gear in front of the cameras. To have wool recognised as the fibre of Australian football is only fitting given the strong social and economic ties the wool industry has had with the game from its very inception in the mid-19th century in country Victoria. The latest footy star to join the campaign, Shannon Hurn, comes from a sheep property in the Barossa region of South Australia and returns to the farm outside the footy season to help at shearing time and to turn off lambs. He told AWI’s podcast The Yarn that he is proud to back the wool industry. “Growing up in the country, it’s great to support the wool industry and the quality West Coast Eagles captain Shannon Hurn and Fremantle Dockers captain Nat Fyfe in a Fibre of Football photoshoot promoting Australian wool.
In the Shops - September 2018