LETTER CLARIFYING SPORTS MEMORABILIA AT PERTH STADIUM
OPEN LETTER TO ALL WAFL PRESIDENTS AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS REGARDING SPORTS MEMORABILIA AT PERTH STADIUM
I write to you collectively to clarify my views about the importance of recognising the rich history of WA football at the new Perth stadium and to address some of my inadvertent comments in last week’s article.
I want to reassure you that ALL options to showcase WAFL footy memorabilia at the new Perth stadium are still on the table – including the Sandover Medal Walk - and all options are still being discussed by our sporting memorabilia reference group, led by Ronnie Hurst.
Only last week, the WAFC presented an excellent submission to the Sporting Memorabilia Reference Group. At that meeting, Ronnie outlined the room naming strategy and confirmed that all WAFL Champions and Legends will be duly recognised at the new stadium. He did, however, confirm that he couldn’t exactly state where and how they would be recognised at this point in time because discussions are still continuing.
I also want to state that I believe the WAFC has done a good job of recognising our past great WAFL players and great WAFL games at Subiaco Oval. The point I was endeavouring to make – but didn’t do a very good job of - is modern technology will allow us to take the recognition of our great game to a new level via the 25 separate opportunities that exist at the new stadium. I can assure you all that due recognition of our WAFL Sandover Medallists, past great administrators, past great players and great highlights of past WAFL games will play a big part in the footy memorabilia that is ultimately showcased at the new stadium.
The vision for recognising football at the new stadium is about bringing the stories, personalities and famous WAFL games to life through the use of new and cutting-edge technology. This technology will provide us with far greater opportunities and spaces at the new stadium, ensuring we duly recognise the rich heritage of Western Australian football for fans into the future.
I also want to apologise for the one-off reference to the WAFL competition being “second rate”. It is not. It was said in the context of the WAFL being a “second tier” to the AFL competition. Unfortunately, although I expressed the term “second tier” a number of times, in such a short piece, much of the context couldn’t be included. I would be disappointed if people honestly believed that I could denigrate the WAFL given my time, commitment and opportunities that I’ve had in the WAFL. I clearly recognise the WAFL is a quality competition that provides a pathway for our younger players to feed into the AFL and it is an undeniable part of the history of football in WA.
We understand that WAFL football is a crucial and continuing part of our football landscape in Western Australia. I have always said football and the government are “invested” in achieving mutual success and I can guarantee that my colleagues and I are working hard to ensure the success of football transitioning to the new stadium, at the same time as representing the wider community interests.
We are working with the WAFC and with each of you WAFL Presidents and CEO’s to deliver a good outcome for football in Western Australia, both for today and into the future.
3 March 2017