Both the AFL and NRL are encouraging players to get the COVID-19 vaccination before next season, but their approaches are immensely different.
The NRL have released a COVID-19 Campaign alongside Deadly Choices encouraging mob to get vaccinated.
Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’Landys has said that although the jab won’t be compulsory, players won’t be able to travel between states without it.
“I think they’re going to have to come to the party because they won’t be able to travel, between states, between countries,” V’Landys said.
“It will be a natural progression where, if they want to play rugby league or play sport, they’re going to have to vaccinate.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan on the other hand says the league is looking to set compulsory vaccinations but its a “complicated position”.
“We are really strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated – players, staff, our community, everyone – and the decision on the final policy settings will be made, I think, probably by the end of this season.”
There has been some resistance from the AFL Players’ Association with AFLPA chief executive Paul Marsh saying, the players’ union’s formal stance is against making the jab mandatory.
The NRL are ramping up their drive to get all staff vaccinated as well as setting up hubs to ensure the community have access to the vaccinations.
The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have set up a drive-through vaccination clinics in collaboration with local community partners in response to the high level of COVID cases in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA.
The quick and easy drive-through is located at Belmore Sports Ground with the aim to increase vaccination rates through a safe and simple process.
🤝 Together with local community partners, we’ve announced the opening of Sydney’s first Drive-Thru Vaccination Hub at Belmore Sports Ground.
— Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (@NRL_Bulldogs) September 16, 2021
There was also a vaccination hub set up at at Browne Park in Queensland before the elimination final with Parramatta Eels and Newcastle Knights.
With the AFL grand final quickly approaching the McGowan Labor government has launched the next phase of its Roll up for WA COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
In order to get as many Western Australians vaccinated as possible, the state government is leveraging the historic sporting moment in Perth to promote their jab campaign.
The 60-second television commercial was shot and directed by emerging WA film director Melle Branson and shows life before the pandemic.
There is only one way out of the pandemic – to get life back to what we know and love, and safeguard what we’re so lucky to have.
For your friends, your family, and your community – it’s time to roll up. pic.twitter.com/YmehmnsMm2
— Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) September 21, 2021
The nostalgic commercial stars young Aboriginal nursing student Sheree, whose roots stretch between the Nyiyaparli and Banjima People from Port Hedland.
She encourages people to get the COVID-19 vaccine because she wants to keep her community safe.
“What better event to highlight the importance of vaccines than at the Grand Final,” said Premier Mark McGowan.
“My Government’s safe and strong approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has put WA in a fortunate position to host a historic 2021 AFL Grand Final, at Optus Stadium.
“All eyes will be on WA this week as we host a historic AFL Grand Final as well as one of the biggest agricultural shows in the nation and see life in WA as it was before the pandemic – that’s why it’s so important we protect what we have, with high levels of vaccination.”
The $3.6 million wide-reaching campaign will feature on digital, radio, television, print, out-of-home and social media advertising channels across the state.
By Teisha Cloos