Ħamrun Ħanin raises awareness and funds for awareness in unique football event

Ħamrun Ħanin, in partnership with the Autism Parents Association and Ħamrun Spartans FC have organised an extensive campaign to raise awareness and funds in honour of International World Autism Awareness Day, recognised globally on April 2.

The initiative reached its climax on Saturday, 30th March, when Ħamrun Spartans took on Birkirkara in the FA Trophy quarter-final at the National Stadium. For this occasion, the Spartans played with a unique jersey designed by Jacob Fava, an eight-year-old child with autism. Each Ħamrun Spartans player autographed the worn jersey, creating a one-of-a-kind collectible to be auctioned, much to the delight of football enthusiasts.

The auction took place in the days before and after the game. In parallel, a number of other fund-raising activities were organised, such as the sale of commemorative t-shirts.

On the day of the game, with the support of the Malta Football Association, persons with autism and their families were invited to attend the match via the Trophies Lounge at the National Stadium, ensuring a safer environment given the different sensory needs of the attendees. A number of children with autism also accompanied the Spartans as they made their way on the pitch in what was surely a memorable experience for them.

In the days leading to the match, visits were held to the Ministry for Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector as well as the Parliamentary Secretariat for Youth, Research and Innovation.

The extent of the support and participation towards initiative was reflected by the wide involvement in this project. This included Ħamrun Spartans FC players, coaches and technical staff as well as administrative officials. Several Hamrun-based organisations, including the two main band clubs, Ħamrun Amateurs, Ħamrun Spartans Supporters Clubs and others supported the event, together with numerous sponsors who together with our main sponsor, Alberta Group, backed this event.

With the objective of maximising the reach of the campaign, Ħamrun Ħanin Chairman Ian Debattista and Austism Parents Association PRO Valerie Brincat, representing the Autism Parents Association took part in a number of TV programmes and newspaper interviews to discuss the initiative’s significance and emphasize the importance of fostering acceptance for autistic children in the community.

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