The launch of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership season was officially marked around the country yesterday with the iconic sound of an AFL siren echoing in unison from stadiums and local grounds across including Metricon Stadium.
8-year-old SUNS Member, Natasha King, who also plays her local football for the Jimboomba Redbacks had the honour on behalf of everyone on the Gold Coast.
Natasha’s parents, Adrian and Fiona have been Foundation Members of the SUNS and back in 2010 they purchased a baby membership for their daughter before she was even born.
The experience wasn’t lost on the young SUNS fan and she had a clear message about sounding the siren to kickstart the 2021 AFL Premiership Season.
“The Siren was really loud,” King said.
King launched the season alongside SUNS Senior Coach Stuart Dew at Metricon Stadium today and made it clear to him who her favourite player was and is now, with good reason.
“My favourite player used to be Michael Rischitelli until he retired, he would always bring me a footy after the game on the field.
“Now it’s Ben King because he has the same surname as my family.
The King family have already attended both AFLW home games at Metricon Stadium in 2021 as well as the AAMI Community Series game, but the family’s efforts in 2020 were even more impressive.
“We went to almost every single game at Metricon Stadium last year.
It’s fair to say that Natasha loves her footy and is looking forward to playing AFLW in the red and gold in the years to come.
“I love playing the game because it’s really fun to play and to get out and be active.
“I’m thinking about one day growing up and playing Footy for the SUNS.”
As a sign of celebration and togetherness, ‘The First Siren’ of the season was rung for the solidarity that transcended clubs, borders, and rivalries throughout 2020, while symbolising the start of a new season - and with it a renewed sense of hope and anticipation.
From the hallowed turf of the MCG to the top end of TIO Stadium, the siren sounded at all major AFL venues including the MCG, Marvel Stadium, GMHBA Stadium, SCG, GIANTS Stadium, the Gabba, Metricon Stadium, TIO Stadium, Adelaide Oval and Optus Stadium, as well as AFL’s Cape York House and NSW’s Ganmain Sportsground (Home of the Ganmain Grong Grong Matong Lions).
Each location sounded their siren at precisely 11:35am AEDST, which was live streamed onto the stadium’s big screens to showcase the moment in unison.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said it was a monumental occasion to be welcoming fans back into all stadiums around Australia following the challenges of 2020.
“The first siren of the season is more than a sound, it’s symbolic to our game and the essence of what footy is all about – bringing people together.
“Having the siren sound in unity today isn’t just a celebration of the return of the elite men’s competition, but of our connection and unbreakable community spirit.”
“This new season brings renewed promise, optimism and hope. Our 18 clubs are all at the starting line and we are eager and excited to see the stories that will unfold in 2021 once the ball is bounced on Thursday night at the ‘G.”