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Hawthorn and Collingwood Report



Event organization can be seen broadly as a subject whose lessons are highly practical in application since there is an environment that may largely require these services. A number of things must be incorporated into the analysis of an event or events especially regarding the overall gain that results from effective application of event management skills.

Groundbreaking observation on this subject would be that the skills learnt are almost entirely dependent on application in the real world for them to be sharpened.

Thus, one must develop a keen eye for observation and analysis to be able to point out areas of strength and those that need improvement. This paper will be greatly informed by observations made during various sports events and in particular the match between Hawthorn and Collingwood at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

The success of any sport event, regardless of the level or the environment in which it is to be held, is by far and large dependent on how well the event is organized. Event organization is the faceless actor that many fans who attend memorable sporting functions do not quite often give much a thought.

In fact, many of them will most likely think of the organization bit of the event if and when something goes wrong. This can be seen as a natural reaction since their central aim of attending a sporting event is to get as much entertainment as the sporting activity can provide (Pritchard & Funk, 2010).

By looking at a match between Hawthorn and Collingwood held at Melbourne Cricket Grounds In March, we will be able to gain some understanding into this subject.

Event Description

There are various definitions of what sport is and, to some extent, there seems to be no universal agreement as to the most appropriate definition of sport. Plainly put for the purpose of this study, a sport is regarded as a physical activity or endeavor that is controlled by a certain set of rules, principals or customs.

Another description of sport is where it is looked at as an activity aimed at uplifting the physical well being of participants while providing entertainment. These descriptions may help us understand whether the event we wish to look at is indeed a sport.

To begin with, the match between Hawthorn and Collingwood qualifies as a sport by as participants apply physical energy to outweigh one another.

There is also competition which is being done under the provided guidelines hence the presence of a referee. The match is technically a professional game that involves two renowned Australian football teams, Hawthorn and Collingwood and held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MDG).

This game comes at the beginning of the football season in Australia which normally begins at the end of Match and runs through to September. At this time there is heightened activity in stadiums across the country as fans flock in with colors of their favorite teams. This match had the same display of loyalty as Hawthorn fans came in gold and brown while Collingwood fans put up white and black.

Observers had long anticipated that this would probably be one of the most thrilling games of the season, just as it turned out to be. Like it is characteristic of football matches in Australia, both teams were widely supported by fans from across the divide.

At around this time of the year, the Australian Football League kicks off spreading a frenzy around the country. The game between Hawthorn and Collingwood was one of the several professional qualifiers fixtures for the league.

We cannot discuss the impact of this match without focusing on the number of spectators who attended. It would be important to note that the tickets for the match had almost been exhausted a week earlier. Thousands of fans stepped in at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds to watch this game.

It therefore goes without saying that besides the national pride that the people of Australia have towards football, there is also the passion that makes them feel part of it.

Such a large number of people thus do require some form of organization to control. The systematic sitting arrangement was one notable undertaking that was well calculated beforehand perhaps going by the history of attendance in such matches.

The match was a preliminary determinant of qualification for the Australian Football League participants, one of the highly acclaimed sporting events in Australia.

Event Synopsis

Football in Australia is a major sporting activity that attracts a wide fan base and one that is deeply rooted in the Australian culture. It is rated among the first favorite for the people of Australia and is therefore greatly entrenched in the people’s way of life.

This is demonstrated by the number of fans who flock stadiums especially during the colder months to support their favorite teams. In spite of the cold, football stadiums always record large numbers of fans proudly fronting colors of the teams they support.

An interesting twist to football in Australia is that it may have different meanings to different people, depending on the region they come from, the culture they observe and to some extent by the code they were taught at school. Basically four codes are observed in the country.

There is the Australian Football League (AFL), the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), the National Rugby League (NRL) and the Football Federation Australia (FFA). To differentiate between all these the word soccer serves better for the purposes of reference to football played for and in the whole country. The game is fondly referred to as “footy”

The Australian Football League, commonly referred to as ‘Aussie Rules’, attracts a huge following and loyalty and is rated as the country’s top sport said to be attended by millions of people each year. History has it that it started in Melbourne as a way of keeping players fit when they are not in season eventually becoming so entrenched in the peoples way of life that it is now one of the codes taught in schools.

Football has been traditionally a men’s sport in Australia in terms of actual participation but in recent times there has been an increase in formation and participation of women clubs from the grassroots level climbing up the ladder to the top most leagues. This therefore continues to show that the game have spots that continue to advance and grow,

Volunteer Participation

The Australian Football League is in several ways run by volunteers. Their participation in running football in Australia comes in various aspects. There are those that organize themselves to pay football coaches in schools and civilian clubs.

It is said that clubs from the small in structure to those whose structure is quite complicated and have a huge following heavily rely on volunteer in one way or the other. It is in fact argued that these clubs would barely survive without the support of volunteers.

One of the aspects in which volunteers participate in Australian football is match organization. Although this is done under the guidance of bodies like the Australian Football Commission, volunteers fund organization of matches quite substantially. This includes such participations as paying of referees.

An estimated figure of volunteer participation rises to as high as 5.4 million people undertaking various activities in football every year. It has also been reported that sport and physical recreation has the best organization in volunteer participation and it is in this area that much of their work is highly recognized.

One of the activities that conspicuously stood out in the match between Hawthorn and Collingwood was in servicing of foods and beverages.

People have also come together to form organizations through which funds are raised to support various club activities including facilitation of training paying of coaches and searching for talent.

Government Participation

The government plays a big role in coordination of events since there is almost nothing much that can be done without being effectively implemented through government agencies. In this particular event, government participation was portrayed mainly by its provision of adequate security.

There was convincing police presence and searches were thoroughly conducted at all entry points to the stadium to ensure that no incidents of lawlessness occurred and to keep to this provision, there were no incidents that could be described as showing a sense of disorder.

Government participation is also seen in maintaining of the ground, which is among the most famous sports grounds in the world having hosted the Olympic Games. Sport events take place in stadia, most of which are public, and have to be maintained.

By maintaining there are such considerations as the spectators seats and other facilities and there is also the actual field whose standards must be maintained to a certain level.

Generally, every part of the stadium must meet some standards and the government is largely responsible for the achievement of these standards to both local and international criteria. In almost all public affairs, the input of the government is probably the utmost observation whose contribution would not go unnoticed.

Governing Bodies

Football Federation Australia is the umbrella body that oversees and governs football activities. It is responsible for professional football activities as well as non professional activities. Since its inception in 1911, the association has changed its name from Soccer Australia to Australian Soccer Association and currently it is known as Football Federation of Australia.

From an overview, the body oversees all football activities in the country. Therefore, organization of matches such as the one we are looking at in this study falls squarely under its mandate.

This means that the association is the overall decision maker in regard to sporting activities of this nature. This involves such considerations as fixing of time for matches and overseeing venue preparation for the event.

The association also coordinates all other smaller bodies and provides the guidelines under which these associations run, besides seeing to it that all other rules that bind participants are observed.

There is also the provision of media coverage that matches acquire. The coordination and issuing of media rights is a responsibility that is left to Football Federation Australia. The events coordination, coverage and timely airing of the matches by the most suitable media player ensure that citizens achieve their right to this kind of entertainment (Beaton & Funk, 2008).

Football in Australia emits so much attention that it cannot be left to one body to handle its affairs singlehandedly throughout the country.

In this regard Football Federation Australia has other composite organizations which include:, Football Federation Victoria Capital Football, Football Federation Northern Territory, Football Queensland, Football Federation of South Australia, Football West, Football Federation Tasmania and Northern New South Wales Football association.

There are several cultural and traditional aspects that are associated with football and which the Australian people would love to keep. This responsibility has been left to the governing body which also plays a role in preserving the cultural background of football in the country.

One of the most prominent aspect of football culture is the wearing of team t-shirts commonly referred to as Guernseys, during matches. Another cultural value that is popular in Australian Football is transmission through the television.

Football Federation Australia is also mandated to coordinate coaches and ensure that they are well trained to handle matches in each of the various levels that occur. All sports are dependent on good referring skills to ensure fair play and the Federation has put in place mechanisms to see to it that there are at least enough and qualified coaches to handle matches.

It aims at maintaining steady growth of the sport while, ensuring that it remains relevant as a people’s pride. To maintain this steady growth, the organization continues to support the junior teams which is a comprehensive strategy that aims at recognizing and developing talent. This way, the organization ensures that there is fresh input by talented young men and the cycle of a proud country can be maintained.

Football Australia and the Event

Matches as huge as the one between Hawthorn and Collingwood the organizing body is tested on the fundamentals of keen management of events. This starts at the stage where the organization decides that such a match will take place.

The necessary communication is then done to the relevant participants. There would be no reason why things should not run as they are expected to in a match where even the fans are able to anticipate the turnout of spectators thus raising the stake higher for the organizers.

The standards of refereeing observed at the match were a display of Football Federation Australia’s ability to continue demonstrating advanced ability

The organization is also charged with preparation of ticket sales and in this event it played its role well by hiring a cashing company that sold tickets to fans.

This means that there was delegation of duties other than acting to hold all responsibilities by themselves. By acquiring the services of a more specialized company, the organization ensures maximum profitability through the revenues collected (Cockerill, 2011).

The existence of ambulances to cater for eventualities shows the seriousness Football Federation Australia employed as part of successfully managing this event in particular. Fast and reliable medical services are required in sporting activities since as established; sporting activities engage a lot of body exercise.

The ambulances in this case were to cater for any event experienced by either a player or any other member of the public. Luckily enough there were no emergency cases that were registered on this match.


Football management in Australia can largely be seen as a case of successful story and one that may be emulated by several countries in the world that are still struggling to raise even a national team to say the least. However, a few changes may need to be done to ensure that the standards set remain as high as they should be.

To begin with, there would be need for participation by teams in several other matches other than the Football League. This means that it would help to increase the number of competitions in which the teams participate at the grassroots. Although a number of competitive events are organized from time to time, it would help to increase them so that the teams are kept in constant rehearsal of the sport.

Perhaps one of the most profound reasons why teams have continued to thrive in Australia is the support given by volunteers. As we have established, most teams run almost entirely on support given to them by volunteers without which they may as well not be able to stand on their own.

It would be important to encourage a culture where teams rely on revenue generated from their own activities which means that teams must be involved in various matches as many as can sustain them adequately.

Finally, in Australia, coaching has been given some seriousness and this plays a major role especially in developing talent in schools. It is taken as part of the school curriculum which just shows how serious and committed the government is in developing the sport.in this regard; parents would play a big role in encouraging young people to take up football as profession.


Successful management of events requires much more than team and date fixtures and the ability to handle the whole process and eventually bring out the desired result calls for well coordinated efforts (Staudohar, & Mangan,1991).The organization of matches in Australia and in particular the one between Hawthorn and Collingwood can largely be seen to have achieved some success in a number of ways.

First, the attendance of the match by the fans exhibited good publicity by the stakeholders, In other words fans were well aware of the match way before hand. This is an important part of organization since a complete sporting activity involves entertainment of the masses.

In this case the number of people who attend a match can be seen to determine how well an event has been organized (Witzig, 2006).The public must feel confident enough and assured of their security and general well being at the stadium in order to come out in large numbers.

The event also received considerable air play and fans were able to watch the event from various venues and even from the comfort of their homes, This translates into good forecast in consideration of the fact that not all participants would be able to attend the match at the stadium but they still have a right to enjoy the match.

In this regard, the airing of the match through television was a well calculated and coordinate move that is part events organization. Match airing helps to raise revenues which could be both helpful to the participant, in terms of teams and to the management board since the monies collected help in strengthen various aspects of the game like offering complimentary training to coaches.

The provision of adequate security at the venue was another notable well coordinated aspect of the event. In this case, there was adequate police presence in the event and there were also private guards hired solely to make this event a success.

Over the years, a number of incidents have occurred that have had dire consequences to the fans sometimes leading even to death. The federation greatly puts this factor into consideration perhaps guided by the size of the stadium, its status and the importance of this match to the country.

All in all a few improvements must as well be in order. The issuing of tickets was one of the areas that were seen to require some improvement.

It was reported that the tickets had long been exhausted before the actual date of the. Such an occurrences need to be addressed so that some fan are not denied the opportunity to witness their favorite team play (Beaton, 2008). It is nonetheless important to know why the tickets were inadequate as this could have been a deliberate plan aimed at limiting the number of people attending the match.

There have been reports of lack of accountability for the some teams in areas like finances and team selection. Although by and large this is a role that is greatly dependent on individual clubs, it is greatly reflected as a problem of the football body and therefore it becomes their role to clean up the operations of the smaller clubs.

Football is Australia’s strongest and most profound sport and its growth is entirely dependent on the arising of new talent. Quite a bit of effort has been put to enhance this area but the popularity of junior teams is still wanting. This also applies to the national women’s team. There is need to give more emphasis to women participation and women teams so as to achieve some sense of gender balance.


Beaton, A. A., & Funk, D. C. (2008). An evaluation of theoretical frameworks for studying physically active leisure. Leisure Sciences: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 30 (1), 53-70.

Cockerill, M. (2011). Celebrating history has net gains for FFA. Retrieved from

Pritchard, M. P., & Funk, D. C. (2010). The formation and effect of attitude importance in professional sport. European Journal of Marketing, 44 (7/8), 1017– 1036.

Shilbury, D., & Kellett, P. (2010). Sport management in Australia: an organizational overview. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Staudohar, P.D., & Mangan, J.A (1991). The Business of professional sports. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Witzig, R. (2006). Global art of soccer. New Orleans: LA.

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