BECOMING an ambassador for Variety – the Children’s Charity has given Darcy Byrne-Jones a unique perspective on football.

Recently elevated into the Port Adelaide Football Club’s leadership group, Byrne-Jones has taken his ambassadorial role with Variety seriously.

Variety has announced it will continue for the next three years its partnership with Port Adelaide and the Adelaide Crows to support the community programs the clubs run, in particular with children dealing with disadvantage.

The charity has become synonymous with the Showdown, with the winner of each game between the sides rewarded with the Variety Showdown Shield.

Byrne-Jones said his involvement with Variety had made him realise there was much more to life than the game, and he was proud that the clubs were putting aside their rivalry for the cause.

“I’m pretty proud to be an ambassador. It’s my second year involved and it was pretty interrupted with COVID so I’m looking forward to getting more involved this year hopefully,” he said during a launch of the partnership at Woodville Oval on Friday.

“Variety is important to the Showdown and it’s always great to get that shield after a win.

“The Showdown is important and it’s always nice to have a win a game of footy but when you can have a bit more of an impact in the community and with some people who are doing it a bit tougher than what we are, it’s always nice to look at the big picture and impact some people outside of footy.”

Variety’s $300,000 in funding will enable Power Community Limited’s Community Youth Program to engage with more than 10,000 young people to discuss the importance of healthy lifestyles, careers and respect. 

The partnership will see hundreds more children given the opportunity to fulfil their potential and overcome whatever obstacles they face to live life to the fullest.

The Chair of the Variety SA Board, Brenton Ramsey described it as a true community partnership that will have a lasting profound effect on children in need across our state.

“It’s a great opportunity for Adelaide, Port Adelaide and ourselves to get together,” he explained.

“Like football, everyone plays a role and this is the most effective way to assist kids in need.

“At Variety, we have the means to raise money but use the model that the people with the expertise on the ground run the programs and in this case it’s Port Adelaide and the Adelaide Football Club.”

Mr Ramsey said as part of the partnership, a new Showdown trophy would be created with South Australians being given the opportunity to design it.

He said those who won would get to see their design presented after the Round 8 Showdown at Adelaide Oval.

“The whole arrangement is a really important one for us. It gives us the opportunity to support lots of kids in South Australia, disadvantaged kids who are disadvantaged by distance, disadvantaged by medical reasons,” Mr Ramsey said.

“Culminating in presenting the Showdown trophy, it’s a wonderful thing for us and a wonderful thing to show what Variety does in the community.”