Every year, Multicultural Round presents the opportunity to celebrate the diverse cultures that make up our nation and its talented athletes.
Together with Sherrin, the AFL has unveiled the special themed footballs that will be used during the 2017 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, beginning on Friday.
In an effort to connect with the various cultures within the AFL community and reach out to new ethnic groups across Australia, Sherrin has decorated game balls with foreign languages for the occasion.
Each football in round 19 will feature the word “Welcome” in one of six languages - Arabic, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.
AFL General Manager Inclusion and Social Policy Tanya Hosch said the AFL is pleased Sherrin - a brand synonymous with the game - has manufactured the themed footballs.
“As a brand, Sherrin shares a link to our game that few others can claim. Sherrin footballs remain one of the most iconic and enduring elements of Australian Football and the various 2017 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round Sherrin footballs are an equally unique product,” Ms Hosch said.
“This round gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the contribution multicultural communities have made to the game’s history and welcome new communities to embrace Australian Football as fans, players, umpires and administrators.”
Managing Director of Sherrin, Chris Lambert said Sherrin is extremely proud to play a role in this year’s Multicultural Round and is excited to continue to celebrate the diversity that exists both in our game and around Australia.
“Footy has a unique capacity to bring together communities and cultures,” Mr Lambert said.
“Sherrin is privileged to help take our great game to new audiences and welcome new fans.”
Multilingual messages will also adorn the 50-metre arcs as part of the celebrations.
Players will take to the field donning specially designed guernseys throughout the weekend, while umpires will wear orange wristbands and wave orange goal flags to symbolise harmony.
In 2017, multicultural players make up 15 per cent of the AFL player lists across the 18 AFL Clubs and 7.8 per cent across the eight NAB AFL Women’s clubs.