Richmond players Bachar Houli and Shaun Grigg are footy stars by day but by night it is their role as proud parents that sees them kicking goals off the footy field, the Herald Sun reports.
The joy of fatherhood has added meaning to their lives outside football but also shone a light on the issues facing Australian children.
That is why they have so much respect and appreciation for the work of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation in safeguarding kids from domestic violence and bullying.
With a report of child abuse, neglect or family violence every two minutes, Grigg said Richmond was proud to partner with the charity and dedicate its match against Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday.
Houli said parenthood had enhanced his perception of the work the Foundation had done helping two millions kids in 20 years, particularly against bullying.
Houli and Grigg took their Tiger cubs, Sarah and Sonny, both aged three, to Punt Rd Oval yesterday for a special Herald Sun photo shoot.
Tin rattlers collected donations from fans flocking to Sunday’s game with a kid’s festival at Punt Rd Oval from 1pm, a photo booth outside gate three and children admitted to the game free with adults.
Research by the Alannah and Madaline Foundation suggests one in five children were bullied last year, 60,000 need emergency accommodation annually and one in seven endure cyber bullying.
“That’s why I’m trying to create that relationship with my daughter,” Houli said.
“Because if something like that does happen … I want to be that first person my daughter comes back and speaks to and talks about her problems and the issues she is facing.”