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Amp Camp at the SCG

//March 19, 2019

A host of guests were beside themselves with excitement as they toured the home of the Sydney Swans and enjoyed a kick on the hallowed SCG turf on Monday the 8th of March. .

Amputee Association of NSW’s annual Amp Camp saw more than 70 teenagers and leaders with limb-related disabilities soak up the aura of the coaches’ room, warm-up area, altitude room and the esteemed Paul Kelly Race, before having an hour-long kick of the footy on the SCG thanks to a collaboration between the Swans, AFLNSW/ACT and SCG Trust.

Kids from all over Australia, including some from a small Aboriginal town called Mulan in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, gathered in Sydney for the four-day camp beginning last Friday.

It saw teenagers with limb-related disabilities caused by a wide range of cases – including cancer, infection, sepsis, car accidents and congenital issues – tackle rock-climbing, canoeing, high ropes and art classes, before the tour of Swans headquarters and the SCG rounded out the camp.

Amputee Association of NSW President Darrel Sparke said the kids were thrilled to be able to go behind Swans doors.

“It was phenomenal. The kids were going off! One of the girls from South Australia, who’s a madly keen AFL fan, was going ballistic on the bus on the way here,” Sparke told SwansTV.

“We had to settle down our leaders just after they found out we were going to the SCG so they wouldn’t give away the surprise. It’s just such an amazing experience to be here.”

Amp Camp launched in 2011 and has since grown from just a dozen campers and leaders to more than 70.

Sparke said it served a crucial cause for those faced with tough challenges.

“The limb-difference and amputee space is very much a hidden and forgotten community,” Sparke said.

“These guys and girls are the product of all the other things that go wrong in our lives: cancer, sepsis, meningococcal, trauma and even things like diabetes in the younger years. So it’s really important they find other people because we’re in that bracket of one in 100,000 others. When they find each other, they have the opportunity to encourage and strengthen themselves and others at any one time. It’s essential for their lives.”

The Swans are committed to promoting disability empowerment, a key pillar of the club’s Diversity Action Plan.

The Sydney Swans Foundation is the driving force behind the club’s community work.

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