Geelong captain Joel Selwood is the 2022 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award winner.
Selwood was recognized for his dedication and commitment to community engagement. Since beginning his career 16 years ago, Selwood has made showing up for his community a priority and hasn’t stopped since. Since day one as an AFL player, he has attended schools, clubs, kick-out clinics, community camps, state legislatures and community appearances.
Last year, the Cat’s Captain reached his 350-game milestone and broke league records for most games and wins as captain, but he also achieved an important and impressive milestone off the field – surpassing 1000 hours with Cat’s community engagements, and that’s just the right recorded hours.
Despite the many challenges Covid has brought both professionally and personally this year, Selwood’s priorities remained thinking about those around him. Selwood provided over 20 hours of official community engagement as part of the club’s GHMBA Health Heroes program, fulfilling his role as Lead Ambassador. Selwood has helped provide primary school-aged children in the area with opportunities to lead healthy, active lifestyles, with an added focus on mental health and well-being.
Additionally, Selwood is an advocate for inclusion and played a key role in launching the AFL Barwon Region Access All-Abilities Auskick Clinics last November. He was NAB Auskick Ambassador for most of his career. He is a key figure at the annual community camps and is also an ambassador for the Cotton On Foundation.
Selwood routinely goes above and beyond what is expected of him, as evidenced by his willingness to grant any feline wish that comes his way. Selwood often brought in his own creative ideas on how to make the experience unique and special for someone going through a difficult time.
Whether it’s a personalized message, time to chat with a fan, or inviting them into the sanctum on game day and making them feel welcome, Selwood always puts 100% into his interactions.
As captain, Selwood has numerous responsibilities on the field, but they also extend to what happens off the oval. He has acted as a catalyst for his teammates, both younger and older, to get involved in the community and take on the role they can have towards those around them. Always generous with his time, warm and welcoming, Selwood draws players, fans and community members wherever he goes.
Geelong CEO Steve Hocking summarized why Selwood deserves the prestigious Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.
“Joel is an outstanding ambassador for our club and the game and we are proud that he is recognized for his impact on Geelong and the wider community throughout his career.
“Seeing Joel engage with young people in particular reminds us every day of the inclusiveness of football and the impact players can have off the field.”
The winner is proudly supported by Telstra, the AFL and the Jim Stynes Foundation and will receive $40,000 to donate to a charity or community program of their choice.
The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award has become the pinnacle of recognition of philanthropic achievements within the AFL community and was named in honor of the late former Melbourne Football Club President and player Jim Stynes.