The Collingwood Magpies Reclink program has today launched its 2022 campaign.    

The Collingwood Magpies compete in the Victorian Reclink Australian Football League and facilitate 40 participants under the guidance of coaches Shane Williams and former Collingwood AFL player Daniel Wells. 

Today’s season launch heralds a new beginning for the program as they embark on their first campaign under the Collingwood name.

Although established in 2008, the program became Collingwood’s eighth team in July last year. COVID lockdown in Melbourne halted the side’s 2021 season.

The program creates opportunities for individuals faced with homelessness, mental health issues, unemployment, and drug and alcohol dependence by providing participants with social connection, improved health and wellbeing pathways, and access to support services.    

As a cultural safe space, the Reclink community attracts participants from diverse backgrounds with a majority who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. The team’s guernsey features an Indigenous design by Khali Luttrell. The artwork symbolises how football has grown for Indigenous players.      

Faced with the challenges of last year’s lockdowns, the program continued to engage participants through virtual exercise and lifestyle classes as well as interactive health challenges.  

The program is supported by contributions and partnerships with Victoria Police, Headspace Collingwood, and Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS).

Headspace Collingwood and YSAS operate from the Magpies Community Centre at Victoria Park and provide the Reclink participants with support and access to services.   

Collingwood’s Director of Stadia and Community David Emerson lauded the program’s leaders.    

“Our Community Ambassador Daniel Wells and everyone involved has done a remarkable job keeping the program running over what has been a very difficult period for many of our players,” Emerson said.

“Taking to the field at Victoria Park next week will be a well-earned reward for all involved, and we can’t wait to see the Reclink Pies in action.  

“We are also thrilled that our major community partner Coles, as well as Nike and the TAC, are providing support for the program this year. 

"Our club was born out of a desire to help those doing it tough, and we know the Magpie Army will get behind them.”    

The Collingwood Magpies Reclink team will kick off their 2022 season at 11am next Wednesday, 13 April against the Cohealth Kangaroos at Victoria Park.