Football Australia launches '#VaxxedToBeBack' initiative in support of government vaccination campaigns

Football Australia has today thrown its support behind Federal, State, and Territory Government COVID-19 vaccination campaigns with the launch of its ‘#VaxxedToBeBack’ initiative featuring representatives from across Australia’s large, diverse, and multicultural football family.

Football Australia’s #VaxxedToBeBack initiative – which is being conducted in concert with all nine (9) Member Federations across the nation – seeks to encourage members of Australia’s broad football community to share the reasons why they’ve been vaccinated as Australia strives to emerge from the global pandemic.

The launch video, released today, features Commonwealth Bank Matildas players Sam Kerr and Alanna Kennedy, Socceroos custodian Mathew Ryan, former Socceroo Joel Griffiths, elite referee Kate Jacewicz, as well as prominent Australian football personality, Stephanie Brantz.

Alongside referees, volunteers, players, and coaches from a variety of levels across the game, Kerr, Kennedy, Ryan, Griffiths, Jacewicz, and Brantz share why they’ve opted to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

While having football at all levels return to normal is naturally important for many Australian football participants, the drive to be able to see family and friends once again, and to have the opportunity to return to Australian shores from abroad, is paramount.

“I haven’t been back to Australia in almost two years so I am doing my part to protect myself and my family,” Kerr says in the video, while Kennedy reflects that her nieces and nephews have grown so much in over the past year, so she “can’t wait to be home and give them a big hug”.

Spain-based Socceroo Ryan says he’s #VaxxedToBeBack “to help try and create a healthy and safe environment out there for all of us to be able to thrive in”, while 2008 Johnny Warren Medal winner Griffiths, now Head Coach at Newcastle Olympic FC, says he “got vaccinated because I needed to connect with my family, my friends, and of course, football”.

Football New South Wales Board Member Steph Brantz states that “every person vaxxed brings us one step closer to getting our great game of football back on the pitch”, while leading match official Jacewicz, who refereed in the recent Tokyo 2020 Women’s Football Tournament, says she’s “’#VaxxedToBeBack’ to return to the pitch for your football matches.”

While Football Australia respects and acknowledges that vaccination is an individual decision, the organisation supports Federal, State, and Territory Government advice that mass vaccinations is Australia’s pathway out of COVID-19.

James Johnson, CEO of Football Australia, applauded the initiative in the interests of the wellbeing of our Australian football community at large.

“The safety and wellbeing of the Australian football community is paramount to Football Australia.  The strength of our game lies within our diverse and broad community and to see so many come together behind this worthy cause, to reconnect with loved ones and the game we all love so dearly is heartwarming and pleasing to see. 

As Australia’s most diverse and largest club based participation sport, Australian football will continue to play its part as a responsible and good citizen, as Australia looks to reopen and recover from the devastating impacts of COVID-19,” Johnson said.

Football Australia, in partnership with its Member Federations, continues to work on and plan for a variety of competitions, projects and initiatives that will underpin the growth of football as Australia emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Socceroos FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers and Commonwealth Bank Matildas friendlies on home soil, to the FFA Cup, the recommencement of grassroots seasons around the nation in 2022, and the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™, Australian football has much to look forward to as Australia gains control of COVID-19.