North to help rebuild school

The North Melbourne Football Club will help rebuild the Dunalley Primary School destroyed in this week's bushfires, the club announced today.

The Kangaroos will join forces with AFL Tasmania to help give the community back their school.

 Interim chief executive Cam Vale said he had been in constant contact with the premier’s office, the AFL and AFL Tasmania about the club’s role in helping the community.

 “It’s obviously an extremely difficult time for all Tasmanian’s and we will be doing everything we can to support and assist in the recovery efforts moving forward,” Vale said.

 “We want to express our deepest sympathies and pass on our best wishes to everyone involved and affected by the fires.”

Vale said the club would also look for other activities and initiatives.

 “Right now it’s important that we stay in direct contact with the Premier, AFL Tasmania and the AFL to ascertain what the community needs and where best we can focus our efforts and energy to help the various areas and residents get back on their feet,'' Vale said.

 The Kangaoos’ first year players are set to hold a training camp in Hobart next week and the club will look at some options regarding the players’ involvement in the affected areas.

 “If we can utilise our players and coaches in some way, then we will definitely do that.  All of that is still to be determined,'' Vale said.

 AFL Tasmania chief executive Scott Wade said the Tasmanian football family would do  whatever it could to assist.

 “Over the next few weeks, Tasmanian football competitions and clubs will kick-off again after a short break during the Christmas and New Year period and AFL Tasmania will engage the broad support of our local football community,'' Wade said.

 ''AFL Tasmania is not aware of any football club that has lost property or suffered as a result of the recent bushfires throughout the State, and therefore joining the North Melbourne Football Club to help rebuild the Dunalley Primary School will initially be our focus.

 ''I’d like to reiterate, we will continue to consult with the Tasmanian Government, the AFL and other relevant stakeholders concerning how each of us can add value to the rebuilding project and other initiatives.''

North plays two games a season at Hobart's Bellerive Oval.

Tasmania's other AFL club, Hawthorn, earlier this week donated $10,000 to the bushfire appeal, and the club's community camp next month will take in some areas affected.

Other major sporting teams to help out include Melbourne Victory, who will donate a portion of ticket sales from its clash with Central Coast Mariners at Aurora Stadium on Saturday to the appeal.

The Hobart Hurricanes will also use its Big Bash clash with Brisbane Heat on Saturday night at Bellerive Oval to raise funds.

Money will be collected on the night and the players' shirts auctioned off.

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