The South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) in conjuction with event partners Options Consulting Group and OpenCorp launched it’s 2022 season with a breakfast event held at Sportscover Arena in Elsternwick on Sunday 20 February 2022.
After two consecutive seasons impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the league, it’s member clubs and partners celebrated together, filled with hope for a full and enjoyable season of football this year.
Helping to launch the upcoming season was Brendon Lade, St. Kilda Football Club Assistant Coach and former Port Adelaide premiership player
“For us (St. Kilda AFL Men’s team), it’s going to be great to have full crowds again this season,” said Mr Lade.
“But for community sport, its going to be really special for parents, including myself, for both to be able to attend their kids’ games without having to choose due to (COVID-19) restrictions.”
It was also the first public introduction of new SMJFL CEO Matthew Brown, who joined the league in January following previous roles as CEO for both Equestrian Victoria and Calisthenics Victoria.
“The readiness of everyone in the room to get back to doing what we all love – supporting the kids to be active, engaged and competitive in their footy – was palpable. The sense of community that sport creates for families, individuals and groups is powerful and it was a terrific opportunity to meet many of the key contributors of the SMJFL community,” said Mr Brown.
As a bonus, the season launch event also provided the platform for the league to present it’s 2021 Season Awards, which were delayed due to COVID restrictions last year.
The 2021 SMJFL Season Award winners were:
Monash University Leader of the Year – Olivia Hamilton – Caulfield Bears JFC
OpenCorp Sportsmanship Award – Archie Connors – East Malvern Knights JFC
Storage King Volunteer of the Year – Tim Holt – Beaumaris JFC
Reflex Reliable Club Administrator of the Year – Carrie Heath – Mordialloc-Braeside JFC
“Its fantastic we can honor such dedicated and inspiring individuals, who throughout all the tough times over the past 12 months, still found the time and effort to give back immensely to their communities,” said SMJFL Chair Richard Bowen.
“They really did make it all about the kids.”