Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Melbourne Renegades: The Long Walk arrives in the BBL

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The Melbourne Renegades, in partnership with The Long Walk, are pleased to announce the Big Bash League’s inaugural Little Long Walk will take place on January 14, 2023.

AFL legend Michael Long will lead the walk, which will take place on the day of the Renegades’ home Melbourne Derby clash at Marvel Stadium, as part of the BBL’s First Nations Round.

The event will begin at Hub Park and include a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony and a cultural performance.  The Little Long Walk will then leave Hub Park and ‘Walk’ with Longy to Marvel Stadium.

A limited number of people will have the opportunity to ‘Walk’ with Longy onto the ground, sit in a dedicated bay of seats for the match and have a front row view of pre-match activity, including a live performance from Baker Boy.

This will be open to 300 Renegades members, fans and Long Walk supporters, who are asked to register their interest here.

The Long Walk has been operating for the past 18 years, and is a charity inspired by Michael Long’s walk to Canberra in 2004 to get the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people put back on the agenda.

The Long Walk spokesperson Leanne Brooke said:

“The Long Walk is very excited to be partnering with the Melbourne Renegades on the inaugural BBL Little Long Walk.  We invite Renegades’ members and fans to join us in the spirit of genuine Reconciliation to acknowledge and celebrate Australia’s First Nations peoples and cultures.”

Melbourne Renegades General Manager, James Rosengarten, said:

We’re pleased to be partnering with The Long Walk and to be hosting our own Little Long Walk event this summer,” Mr Rosengarten said.

“As a club, we’re committed to acknowledging and celebrating Australia’s proud Indigenous culture and people. The Melbourne Derby is our biggest home game for the season and provides an incredible platform to do this, as part of the BBL’s First Nations Round.

“We look forward to this event receiving plenty of support from our members, fans and the wider community. With the Little Long Walk and a live performance from Baker Boy, plus the game itself and plenty of family-friendly activities, we know this will be a fantastic evening at Marvel Stadium.”

The BBL’s First Nations Round is now in its second season and will run from January 13-20 in BBL|12.

In this period, the Renegades will host one home match – against the Stars at Marvel Stadium on Wurundjeri land – and travel to play the Thunder at Manuka Oval on Ngunnawal land.

The Renegades will wear an Indigenous playing shirt designed by Ky-ya Nicholson-Ward, a Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrung and Ngurai-illum Wurrung woman.

**

About The Long Walk

The Long Walk Trust is a charity inspired by AFL legend and Aboriginal activist Michael Long which works to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wellbeing.

We do this by raising awareness about Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander histories, peoples and cultures and providing meaningful opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to come together, connect and work together for positive change.

Michael Long is one of the most recognisable Indigenous figures in Australia. He championed the Indigenous cause within the AFL. In 1995 Michael made a stand against racial abuse, following an on-field incident with another player asserting that racism had no place in sport.

Ultimately this led to Michael being one of the pioneering forces behind the racial abuse code that was adopted by the AFL in the 1990s. Michael retired in 2001 but continues to be a champion and advocate for Indigenous peoples and communities.

When Michael walked to Canberra in 2004 to ask the Prime Minister to put the lives of Indigenous people back on the national agenda he captured the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of Australians.

This overwhelming support led to the formation of The Long Walk as an organisation charged with raising awareness through community and school-based education cultural programs and large-scale events which promote and celebrate Indigenous peoples and cultures.

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