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Kyle Chalmers to kick 'First Goal of the Game' in Shanghai

OLYMPIC champion swimmer Kyle Chalmers will become the first non-Port Adelaide player to kick the ‘First Goal of the Game’ (FGOG) when he lines up from directly in front ahead of the Power’s clash with Gold Coast in Shanghai.

Chalmers, who won gold in the 100m freestyle at the Rio Olympics in 2016 as well as four gold medals and a silver medal at the recent Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, is a big Port Adelaide supporter and the son of four-time SANFL Premiership player Brett Chalmers.

FGOG is usually reserved for a former Port Adelaide player, and is a ceremonial event based on the longstanding tradition in Major League baseball where a guest of honour throws the first pitch during the pre-game festivities.

The swimming superstar was training in Brisbane when he got the invitation to come to Shanghai.

“As soon as I got the invitation I called my coach and my manager and told them it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and as a massive Port Adelaide fan I wanted to be there,” Chalmers said from Canberra ahead of his flight into China.

“This is more important to me than a few days of training, especially seeing as the Pan Pacific Championships in Japan aren’t until August.

“To have that opportunity to go over there and go on the field with the players is amazing.”

Chalmers said he had long watched games at Adelaide Oval and always paid attention to the FGOG to see who was kicking it and dreamed that he would get the chance one day.

“I grew up wanting to be a player so it was always something I wanted to do, to go out onto a field and kick a goal so to be able to do it in Shanghai is something very exciting,” he said.

“I’m not only representing myself but my whole family who are all massive Port Adelaide supporters.”

Chalmers praised Port Adelaide and the AFL for having the initiative to take the game to China.

He said he had watched the game last year and couldn’t wait to experience it in 2018.

“I get to compete overseas all the time and for these AFL players to get a chance to do so in China is a fantastic step, not just from Port Adelaide’s perspective but for the whole AFL,” he said.

“It’ll be such an awesome experience for them and it’s just a really exciting step forward for the game.”

While it won’t be Chalmers’ first time in China – he was there in 2014 for the Youth Olympics when he won two bronze medals – the 19-year-old is still excited to experience what Shanghai has to offer.

Port Adelaide can also announce that Chalmers will take over the club’s social media accounts during his time in Shanghai, offering a rare insight into the experience.

“I’ve seen a few people do it in the past so I’ll just do my best to help everyone who isn’t there feel a part of the experience,” he said.

“To be experiencing Shanghai first hand is something I would love to share with everyone back home and I can’t wait.”

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