AFL Inclusion video series

These videos were produced in partnership with the AFL as part of our 2021 sponsorship with AFL Inclusion to promote their All Abilities programs and support the participation of people with disability in community football.

AFL Blind – Bridget Jolley

How do you play… Footy?

Meet Bridget.

Hi, my name is Bridget Jolley. I’m a mad keen footy fan, and I’m super excited that for the last few years, I’ve been able to play Aussie rules football.

What is AFL Blind?

High energy, fast, loud. AFL Blind is a version of Australian Rules Football that is designed specifically for blind and vision impaired people.

Scoring is based off standard Aussie rules, but different classified players will score different amount of points for goals and behinds.

The players are classified based of level of vision and also ability in basic football skills, so things like being able to mark, kick, handball, run.

How do you play?

There is a commentary of what’s happening on ground that is played through a PA system, which explains what’s going on at the field. Behind the goals, there is a sound that’s made through some shakers and this helps people understand where they are in line with the middle of the goals.

But… what about the ball?

The buzzer inside the ball can be turned on and off. And so when it’s on the ground, it can be tracked, but also as it’s traveling through the air. And it’s super annoying.

The ball that is used is a soft, brightly-coloured Sherrin. This helps with the ball being able to move and be spotted throughout the game.

Why did you join AFL Blind?

I love footy and I’ve never really had an opportunity to be able to play in a competition that would feel like it was fair, and like I’d be able to actually contribute equally as my teammates.

I have a condition called aniridia. It’s reasonably rare. It’s an inherited condition. It impacts me in that I am really short-sighted. I don’t have any useful vision in my left eye. I get quite affected by light and glare.

What does inclusion mean to you?

Inclusion for me is recognising that people are different, but those differences are incorporated into things. If you’ve met one person with disability, you’ve met one person with disability. We’re not all the same. Our experiences and our preferences are different.

What do you love about playing footy?

I wouldn’t say I’m someone who gets overly emotional, but being able to play in a sport that I love and have supported for decades means a great deal.

Why celebrate International Day of People with Disability?

A great way to recognise, not just the barriers that people with disability have, but the really cool strengths that they have. And what people add to our society by having different experiences.

International Day of People with Disability, December 3.

My Game, Our Game.

AFL Wheelchair – Judeland Antony

How do you play footy?

Meet Jude.

I’m Judeland Antony. People call me, Hey Jude. I came from Sri Lanka back in 1998, I started playing wheelchair football from 2016. Love the sports to the max.

What is AFL Wheelchair?

We… adaptive sport. So we play in a basketball court, obviously being in a wheelchair, we need a flat surface and a smooth surface to push the wheelchair as fast as we can. We need to have limited numbers. So we have five and five on each team.

So we have zones; centre, forward, and defend. Football is all about kicking and in able-bodied football, our kick becomes the hand pass and our hand pass becomes under arm.

What position do you play?

Mainly I’m a defender because that’s where my strength is. They needed me as a wall for the team. That’s where I have to show my guns out.

What do you love about playing footy?
All the negative and all the disadvantage it all becomes ability to perform in the court. So you might have painful nights, you might not be able to sleep at all night due to your disability. That 50 minutes, you actually don’t think about any one of your problems. You are fully focused on the sport.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?

Back in 2018, I got into a car accident, even though back in 1996 I got into a wheelchair due to a different reason. I was questioned whether I should be able to play the sports again. I was broken all my pelvis, my hips and my L2 spine and bed confined for almost six months and not able to sit, then coming out of that trauma and playing the sports again on the next season. That was the biggest challenge and overcoming that was I always go back to.

What does accessibility mean to you?

In one word, dignity. If a wheelchair person doesn’t have a proper ramp, we are dependent on somebody else to carry us. Giving us that accessibility, it brings back our dignity.

Why celebrate International Day of People with Disability?

It’s important because this is like an appreciation, to tell them we haven’t forgotten about you. And we know that you guys came across a lot of physical and mental challenges and you are not alone in this world. And we are here with you. It just to say that we are here.

International Day of People with Disability, December 3.

My Game, Our Game.

AFL Inclusion – Jason Heagerty

How do you play footy?

Meet Jason.

Hi, I’m Jason Heagerty. I play for the St. Albans Saints FIDA Disability Football Team.

What is AFL Inclusion?

AFL Inclusion is a Aussie Rules Football League for disabilities.

How did you start?

I decided to form the St. Albans Saints alongside with my sporty friends. Been playing footy since.

Who does AFL Inclusion support?

Most of them are actually intellectual disabilities, mainly autism and on the spectrum. But with a lot of division leagues that I’m in, mainly physical disabilities, to disabilities who want to give sports a go.

How has AFL Inclusion helped you?

The friendship and teamwork aspect is very important and it helps me build my self respect. I have been given opportunities to play in the EJ Whitten Legends.

What do you love about playing footy?

It keeps me fit, but also it’s very important for all disabilities to be active, be healthy. And you don’t need any experience to join, just come on down and have a go. It’s a community spirit of footy.

What does International Day of People with Disability mean to you?

International Day of Disability means equal opportunity and awareness for those living with disabilities. It’s very important for those kids with disabilities and teenagers. When you see disability, do not judge.

International Day of People with Disability, December 3.

My Game, Our Game.

NAB AFL Auskick – featuring Joel Selwood and Meghan McDonald

What’s your favourite ice-cream?

Every single ice-cream in the world!

Oh, you’re not allowed to have all that, are you?

I’m Joel Selwood and I’ve been an ambassador with the NAB AFL Auskick program for 14 years.

My name’s Meagan McDonald. I started footy in my mid-twenties. I’m looking forward to seeing young kids participate at an age much earlier than I did.

What is NAB AFL Auskick?

Why do you like Finley so much?

That’s where my Nan and Pop lives.


Oh, and my Pop had a soldier for a dad.

Is that right?


The Auskick program is for kids to come and experience football for the first time really. And today we’re at an all abilities clinic. So we have children with different disabilities that will come join us. They are from the ages of five to 12. And we’re gonna train their ability, not their disability.

Can you see me?


Can anybody handball over to Meg?

Oh! Good jab.

Why is Auskick Important?

When did you start playing footy?

I just started.

Just started. Having fun so far?


To be able to give access to Australia’s national sport to as many people as possible, as young as possible, is, I think, wonderful for their lives, for their inclusion in community.

Three, two, one. Say, “Footy!”


Who’s kicked more goals?


Meg or Me?


Well, we’ve kicked about the same, and not many, ‘cause Meg’s got an excuse, she plays down back.

That’s right.

I haven’t got an excuse.

How is Auskick Inclusive?

Alrighty, my name’s Bec, I’m one of the coaches tonight.

We made sure that we had visual aids for some kids who may have an intellectual disability. We also had some sensory balls available for kids who may not want to use a footy. We also had a quiet room just over there for kids who, if it felt a bit too much, they could take the time, and we had little sensory packs in there, just to chill out, take a second, and come back. We want everyone included in everything that we do.

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Bunny giraffe.

You’d be a bunny giraffe?

The bunny giraffe has a long neck, and a bunny’s face.

Ah, there you go.

Do you like cooking?

I love cooking. Who told you? Did someone tell you? What’s your favourite food to eat, anyway? Maybe I could practice.


Pasta. Well, have you got a favourite?



Those are like short

Short ones?

Is that tooth gonna fall out?


It’s very wobbly.

How much teeth did you lose?

I’ve lost all my teeth.

Did we do good?


We did good.

What does inclusion mean to you?

Hi, I’m Mollie. I’ve got my two kids here, Hunter and Alice. They’re both on the spectrum, and Alice’s got ADHD. Like some other sporting teams that we’ve gone to, we just sort of haven’t really stuck with, because my kids will stand back and sort of not speak up for themselves. Whereas here, they’re getting the attention that they need and it’s just really inclusive for them. And it’s good for their self esteem to have a go, yeah.

Why celebrate International Day of People with Disability?

This International Day of People with Disability, I’d like all Australians to recognise their own privilege, and look at all the sports and communities they’re able to participate in, and work out ways that they can work to make those environments inclusive of everybody. And make that accessibility something that’s really celebrated so that we can have full participation of all Australians.

International Day of People with Disability, December 3.

My Game, Our Game.

How we celebrated International Day of People with Disability – AFL

International Day of People with Disability or IDPwD, it’s a way to celebrate people with disabilities and what they bring to our community.

What is happening today?

Hi, I’m Bridget Jolley. I’m captain of the Bombers in the AFL Blind competition. Today is the Disability Sport and Recreation Festival. Sometimes sports can be a little bit daunting or like it’s not for people with disability but sport and particularly AFL, it’s a game that should be for everyone.

Hi, I’m Joel Selwood from the Geelong Cats, and I’m the ambassador from the AFL. Today down at Crown, we’re having a look at a lot of different activities, we’ll have some bowling, there’ll be some wheelchair basketball. Behind me, we’ll have an Auskick-based clinic. It’s good to see a lot of people down here.

We’ve been handballing it, practicing our handballs too, and practicing our goalkicking.
I’m John Pappas, Chief Marketing Officer at Toyota Australia. I’m not sure if I’ve pulled a nerve in my neck, but that was just unbelievable. I couldn’t believe how actually exhausting it was on my arms and all parts of my body.

Why is inclusion in sports important?

I’m Rob Auld, I’m the Executive General Manager of Game Development for the AFL. I think AFL’s commitment to making the game available and inclusive for everyone is a really important part of what we do. And we’ll continue to look at ways to innovate, whether it be for vision or hearing impaired, wheelchair football, to continue to make the game as fun and enjoyable as it possibly can be for everybody that wants to play.

Come over here. See if you can close your eyes and mark it.

Hi, my name is Shannon Jones. I’m Captain of the AFL Saints Blind team. Without inclusion sport, I probably wouldn’t be here today. It’s really saved my life to tell you the truth. I was really apprehensive to go out and go along to a come and try day. And I’m really glad I did because now I’m kicking goals. I even work for the saints now and it’s had a positive effect on my life.

What does International Day of People with Disability mean to you?

Hey my name is Jason Heagerty. International Day of Disability means a lot to me, because it’s to share awareness for those living with disabilities and it will help them give opportunities to be in the community, not just sports and recreation, but also for looking for work. It’s very important.

Hi, my name is Ben Jankovski. I’m the captain of the Collingwood Football Club Wheelchair Team. Yeah, we just won the DSR trophy. There’s a lot that people don’t know, with disability, it isn’t just physical. It could be a mental disability as well. So it’s really about understanding the fact that you don’t know what people are going through. And I think to have this day specifically to us with a disability, it makes us feel like we’re really cared about.

How can we get involved?

I reckon just come down and have a go.

Reach out, come and try it. One thing I think you’ll be guaranteed is you’ll have some fun and that’s an important part of our game. Putting a smile on people’s faces and get people involved.

Visit Play.AFL to get involved. My Game, Our Game.