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Supporting AFL Victoria and safer club canteens

Who’s your footy club’s canteen hero?

Nominate them today for ESV’s Canteen Hero of Year Award and you could win $1,000 for your club’s canteen.


2021 Canteen Hero nominations are now closed. 

We received 100 nominations!. Thank you to the clubs who want to celebrate their unsung hero.


Check back here for our winner’s announcement.

Canteen Hero

After the success of our Canteen Hero award in 2019, when we received more than 70 nominations, we are once again keen to celebrate footy’s unsung heroes in 2021 – the canteen volunteers – with an additional grant of $1,000 towards the purchase of new gas or electrical equipment in the winner’s canteen.

2021 has been another tough year for community football across Victoria, and we can think of no better way to continue our support of footy club canteens than by recognising and celebrating the canteen heroes who are there week in, week out giving their time for their club, and financially supporting another footy club canteen to purchase new and safer equipment.

We can’t forget our fabulous 2019 winner, Bert van Lith from the Drysdale Football Netball Club. who is celebrated for his famous ‘Berty’s Schnitz’. If there’s someone like Bert at your club, make sure you tell us their story and nominate them for the 2021 Canteen Hero award.

Nominate your ESV Canteen Hero today.

Safer canteens in 2021 with $30,000 in grants

2021 is the fourth year of ESV’s Safer Canteens grants program. This year we will contribute another $30,000 to support local, regional and suburban community football, which is more important than ever, following the impact of COVID-19 during 2020.

Once again, ESV’s Safer Canteens program will provide grants of up to $1,000 for the purchase of new equipment to replace old, faulty and dangerous electrical or gas appliances in football club canteens, benefitting at least 30 suburban and regional clubs.

Since introducing Safer Canteens in 2018, we have awarded more than $91,000 to 100 football/netball clubs across Victoria.

2021 Safer Canteens grants recipient’s announced

We are delighted to announce the Victorian community football and netball clubs who will receive an Energy Safe Victoria Safer Canteens grant in 2021.

They are spread across nine country football regions (23 clubs) and the Melbourne Metro region (9 clubs).

Club Grant Region
Avoca Football Netball Club $883.41 AFL Goldfields
Bannockburn Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Barwon
Boronia Hawks Football Netball Club $1000 Metro Melbourne
Clyde Football Netball Club $789.82 AFL South East
Darebin Women’s Sports Club $1000 Metro Melbourne
Diggers Rest Football Netball Club $1000 Metro Melbourne
Dimboola Sporting Club $849 AFL Wimmera Mallee
Hamilton Kangaroos Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Western District
Heywood Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Western District
Hill End and Grove Rovers Football Netball Club $730 AFL Gippsland
Kiewa Sandy Creek Football Netball Club $1000 AFL North East Border
Korumburra Bena Football Netball Club $760 AFL Gippsland
Lexton Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Goldfields
Maryborough Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Central Victoria
Milawa Football Netball Club $1000 AFL North East Border
Moonee Valley Football Club $1000 Metro Melbourne
Mount Eliza Junior Football Club $1000 AFL South East
North Footscray Football Netball Club $1000 Metro Melbourne
North Sunshine Football Club $1000 Metro Melbourne
Old Collegians Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Western District
Sea Lake Football Netball Club $900 AFL Central Victoria
Simpson Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Barwon
Skye Football Netball Club $987.39 Metro Melbourne
South Colac Sports Club $1000 AFL Barwon
Taylors Lake Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Wimmera Mallee
Tungamah Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Goulburn Murray
Upper Ferntree Gully Football Club $1000 Metro Melbourne
Violet Town Football Netball Club $1000 AFL Goulburn Murray
Wangaratta Junior Magpies Football Club $1000 AFL North East Border
Warrack Eagles Football and Netball Club $696 AFL Wimmera Mallee
Wyndham Suns Football Club $1000 Metro Melbourne
Yallourn Yallourn North Football Netball Club $837 AFL Gippsland
Total $30,432.62  


Other resources

Safer Canteens grants program

In 2018, we developed the ESV Safer Canteens grants program in partnership with AFL Victoria, to directly support local clubs financially, and raise awareness and understanding about energy safety at a community level.

Over the past three years, more than 358 grant applications have been submitted and more than 100 clubs have received grants.

The overwhelming response helps us understand the struggle many clubs face funding the replacement of canteen equipment. There are countless stories of old, broken down equipment being used by volunteers, who are potentially at risk of an appliance-related injury.

In 2020, ESV Commissioner and Chair Marnie Williams, announced the extension of our partnership for a further three years and an additional $10,000 in Safer Canteens grants, bringing the total to $40,000 in Safer Canteens grants awarded in 2020. Our ongoing commitment and investment of over $90,000 ensures community football is supported into 2022.

In addition to the grant funds, each successful club receives a merchandise pack from ESV; including new menu boards and canteen counter mats – each displaying our energy safety messages.

Victorian Blind Football League (VBFL)

ESV is also delighted to announce that in 2021 we are the sole sponsor of the Victorian Blind Football League, contributing $15,000 towards this community sport, which promotes fitness, fun and inclusion, enhance life skills and provide a sense of belonging for vision impaired Victorians.

The opening round of the VBFL 2021 season is on Saturday 26 June 2021. There are a total of 38 male and female players over the age of 14, representing the Western Bulldogs, St Kilda, Essendon and Hawthorn football clubs across the nine-round season.

The competitors in this sport are inspirational. Melanie Edge, the Hawthorn Captain was previously featured in the Vic Health “This girl can” campaign: watch her inspiring video.

We hope our support will help this new sport develop and grow.

ESV and AFL Victoria

ESV is an Official Partner of AFL Victoria.

We’ve proudly supported of the growth of country football and together raised awareness of gas and electrical safety issues in regional and metro areas for more than eleven years.  In 2020 we again underscored our ongoing support for community football by extending our partnership through to 2022.

Read more about how ESV supports community football in Victoria.

ESV-AFL Victoria community football partnership - Supporting Club Canteens