“Boycott the Hawks game until we have our own team.”
This was a comment made by a reader on social media this week.
The comment was attached to a match preview story about Hawthorn and Brisbane playing at University of Tasmania stadium.
There is so much wrong this comment that must be addressed.
Under no circumstances should we be deliberately avoiding any association with the Hawthorn Football Club.
The club, which is sponsored by Tasmania, has been responsible for bringing of millions of dollars into our community.
And then you have the marketing – grand final wins with the word “Tasmania” plastered over the players’ hearts. The agreement with the Hawks is more than just four games a year.
The Hawthorn deal, first inked in 2001, was more than trying to have an adoptive team in the national competition.
A partnership gave youth something to aspire to. It gave Tasmanians a chance to watch elite football, but only drive about two hours or so maximum to attend.
However, in recent years grassroots football has been failing.
People have stopped playing.
Tasmania has not been very successful during the AFL draft compared to previous decades.
We know a solid foundation is needed to succeed in anything.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Thankfully there now appears to be a plan in place to strengthen football for boys and girls, men and women. This needs immediate action.
Our future plan is also clear. We want our own AFL team.
But this just won’t happen overnight.
There are many elements that must be addressed before securing that spot in the national competition.
Hawthorn offer a lot to our community. They should be supported.
We can do this through purchasing memberships and/or attending the games.
Yes, the fixture for Launceston games hasn’t been stellar this year. The first match of 2018 – the night game at St Kilda – did have all the bells and whistles including the biggest fireworks display ever for the AFL.
Boycotting games because of the mission to have our own team could be detrimental to our plans.
The baby should not be thrown out with the bathwater.