APM Employment Services are joining forces with the Australian Football League (AFL) to support the delivery of two National AFL Disability Inclusion Events in 2023.
Leading on from APM’s partnership with Disability Sports Australia to deliver the Toyota AFL Wheelchair National Championships last year, the AFL will now manage this event in 2023, along with the Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival, with the support of APM.
- Queensland will host the 2023 Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival in Brisbane from October 8-13
- Melbourne will host the 2023 Toyota AFL National Wheelchair Championships from November 1-5
The Inclusion Carnival is for the most talented male footballers with an intellectual disability with representative teams from eight states and territories competing.
Teams are selected from the best talent from local inclusion leagues and academies.
There will be 72 matches with more than 160 athletes and support staff set to participate in this carnival that has been going since 2014.
The Carnival is played as per traditional Australian football rules, with adjustments to the playing numbers with 12 v 12 on field, and 4 players on each bench.
The event returned in 2022 after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Host South Australia took out its first division one title while Queensland was triumphant in division two.
APM were well represented with teams from both WA and SA displaying the APM logo as part of sponsorship of the state teams.
The Wheelchair Championships is an annual representative carnival for athletes with a physical disability with every state and territory represented, including the Australian Defence Force and Returned and Services League of Australia.
The five-day event will be co-delivered with Disability Sport Australia, where the AFL for the first time will take a lead role in the delivery of the event, which will enable a deeper integration of the event across the business.
AFL Wheelchair is a modified version of traditional Australian football rules, played on a basketball court, with adjustments to the playing numbers with 5 v 5 on field, where a handpass is equivalent to a kick.
APM Group CEO Michael Anghie said "We have seen first-hand the difference being part of a sporting team, competition and the associated community makes to people living with disability through APM’s long-time support of the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Inclusive League."
"We are excited to be taking the next step in supporting these two national disability inclusion events and working with such a well-known sporting code and organisation as the AFL. Their existing involvement and reach across Australia will go a long way in increasing awareness surrounding disability and inclusion”.
AFL’s National Disability Inclusion Manager said "We are excited to welcome APM Employment Services into the AFL fold, and specifically towards our National Disability Inclusion Events. Both the AFL and APM have strong synergies towards how we want to support people with disability within the community, and we look forward to coming together to shine a light on the country’s top talent as they represent their state and the National events."
The full schedule and playing venues for the 2023 carnivals will be released closer to the events via the AFL website afl.com.au.