The AFL has announced a tribute match to be hosted in north-western Tasmania in response to the tragedy in Devonport.
Hawthorn will take on Richmond to be held at 1.10pm on Saturday, March 5.
The community and nation are reeling after five children were killed in a jumping castle accident on Friday.
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“On behalf of the AFL, I extend my deepest condolences to everyone impacted by the accident at Hillcrest Primary in Devonport earlier this week,” AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said.
“To all those affected by the tragedy, including the families, first responders, the school community, and the wider Devonport community, we send our thoughts.
“We can’t imagine the heartbreak that everyone in the close-knit North-West community of Tasmania is going through – we share in that heartbreak and as an industry we are united in our commitment to help.
“Words are shallow right now but we want to make a commitment to do whatever we can over the coming weeks and months to support those touched by this tragedy to assist with their healing and recovery.”
“A fundraiser and a game of football cannot change what has happened, but it is one way for our game to wrap our arms around the North-West community of Tasmania and show our support,” McLachlan said.
The event will be preceded by a fundraising event, with North Melbourne – who have ties to the region – also providing support.
“We’ve had a decade-long relationship with the people of Tasmania and 12 players across our men’s and women’s teams are from Tassie. This incredibly tragic event has hit us particularly hard,” North CEO Ben Amarfio said.
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said that nothing could make up for the tragedy, but they would do everything they could to help.
“Everyone has been completely heartbroken by the tragic loss of young lives in Devonport this week,” Gale said.
“Nothing can make right what has happened but if in some small way we can help bring the Devonport and north-west coastal community together, then we are only too happy to help.”
Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett agreed.
“We stand alongside and ready to help the community in any way we can. We hope this game is another contribution to the many being made across the country to help ease the pain of the local community, school and families,” he said.
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