By Narelle Coulter

Melbourne Football Club is playing an important role in fostering leadership skills, both on and off the field, in the Casey Cardinia Region.
In June 2009 the club signed a 30-year partnership agreement with the City of Casey.
Now in its seventh year, the partnership continues to grow and evolve, providing programs and experiences to the sporting and business communities.
The partnership focusses on five key pillars – education, multicultural, women, business and grassroots football.
Casey estimates the agreement is worth up to $2.3 million to the city annually.
Melbourne Football Club’s Experiences Manager Leon McConville told Grow that the club had started its journey back to the top and was keen help local businesses learn the keys to successful leadership by offering a tailored experience that outlines the importance of good leadership and culture within your organisation.
“Football provides numerous and ongoing examples of good and bad leadership, good and bad culture, and demonstrates that off-field leadership is critical to the success of any sporting organisation.
“The club has people in key leadership roles who have a track record of success in developing culture and building strong leadership,” he said.
The club hosts business events throughout the year, such as a 2 Day Leadership Experience, hosted by Club CEO Peter Jackson, Play on the MCG, and is a major sponsor of the Casey Cardinia Business Awards and the breakfast series.
Play on the MCG allows participants to represent Melbourne in a curtain-raiser match at the hallowed ground, and includes coaching by Melbourne legends.
A participant in this year’s event said that it was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I now have a memory with my clients that we can talk about for years to come”.
Mr McConville said: “Melbourne Football Club events are a fantastic way to either meet new customers or network and invite your own clients along to experience a professional and entertaining event.
“We have a wide variety of unique experiences to cater for all businesses.
“What sets us apart from the normal business event is that you’re attending with like-minded professionals with one common interest, which is football.”
The club is also mentoring the next generation of sporting leaders through its Next Generation Academy Program while players regularly visit Casey schools to conduct football clinics and the successful Read Like a Demon literacy program which offers students an opportunity to participate in reading and writing workshops with club representatives.
In 2014 Melbourne players gave more than 750 hours of their time to the Casey community through a variety of events.
For more information about the partnership visit www.casey.vic.gov.au/arts-leisure/mfc-casey-partnership and if you are interested in the experiences Melbourne offer, visit: http://www.melbourneexperiences.com.au/

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