AFL National Inclusion Carnival coming to Barossa26 Aug. 2022
The Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival is set to be played for the first time since 2019, with State and Territory representative teams heading to South Australia for the competition from November 5 – 11.
Angaston Football Club in the Barossa will host the carnival, the first time it will be held in SA.
First played in 2014, the Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival is an annual representative tournament for men with an intellectual disability and showcases these footballers to the broader community.
Northern Territory will be out to defend its title having won the last competition in 2019, held in Blacktown, NSW. The past two carnivals have been cancelled because of the pandemic.
Toyota will continue as proud naming-rights partner of the carnival, with support from the SANFL, The Barossa Council and the AFL.
Mayor Bim Lange has welcomed the announcement, saying the 2022 Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival aligns with Council's vision for inclusion and participation in sports.
"It's a great opportunity for our community to join in the spirit of competition and celebration that is synonymous with the Carnival and hopefully encourage those people in our own local community with an intellectual disability to get involved in the future" Mayor Lange said.
"Our Council's major investment in sporting infrastructure through The Big Project has made this event possible. With upwards of 200 competitors, support staff and spectators coming to stay in the Barossa, it's another great example of how we can grow sports event tourism in the Barossa to give our local economy a major boost."
AFL Executive General Manager Game Development, Rob Auld, said "After two years of not being held, it's fantastic to see the Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival return and to be played in South Australia for the first time.
"Part of what makes Australian football great is the diverse and inclusive formats which bring communities together and allow people from all walks of life, including those with intellectual disabilities, to participate in the game and experience the thrill of representing their state or territory at a national carnival like what we are about to see in SA this year.
"On behalf of the AFL, I would like to thank Toyota for their continued support of the game and for recognising the importance of this carnival as a way of showcasing the best footballers with an intellectual disability. I would also like to acknowledge the significant support of the SANFL, The Barossa Council, the Angaston Football Club and the local community for hosting the event.
"Many people, including volunteers, have worked tirelessly to give all participants, particularly the players, coaches, umpires and officials, the opportunity to experience the carnival, which hasn't happened since 2019. It's sure to be a fantastic event and I wish everyone involved all the best."
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer, Vin Naidoo said Toyota is proud to be supporting the Toyota AFL National Inclusion Carnival, and thanked the AFL for such an incredible initiative.
"It's fantastic to see the tournament return after two years. The role it plays for people of all abilities to be able to come together as a team and showcase their skills on the ground is outstanding.
"Toyota is committed to empowering all ages and abilities to participate in the great game of AFL, and we continue to support its development at all levels from grassroots to the elite." Mr Naidoo said.
Eight teams (12-a-side) will play a lightning carnival format over the first two days, then based on results, the top four teams go into Division 1 and the bottom four teams go into Division 2. Teams play three matches against opponents in their division, before the top two teams play off in the Grand Final.