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Runners-up for Jarryd and Mark

Sydney Swans Media  December 4, 2017 4:10 PM

Mark Smith and Jarryd Haines touched the hearts of people all around the world with their story.

Mark Smith and Jarryd Haines touched the hearts of people all around the world with their story.

It’s been a whirlwind couple of months for Swans fans Jarryd Haines and Mark Smith who have become global stars after their heart-warming story of friendship and love of AFL went viral.

On the back of hearing about a young boy who was commentating the Swans Round 23 game at the SCG for his blind friend, we started an online search for the unknown duo.

After tracking them down through the power of social media, the boys came into the club for a tour, meet and greet and also ran through the banner with the team at the Elimination Final against the Bombers at the SCG.

Their heart-warming story gathered quite a lot of traction across the country and made its way to the other side of the world which resulted in the pair being nominated for the ‘Best Sporting Moment’ in the Laureus World Sports Awards for the month of November.

The Laureus Best Sporting Moment Award demonstrates qualities such as fair play, sportsmanship, drama and dedication, and looks beyond the scoreboard or podium. The Moments symbolise the true values of sport and bring to life the message that sport has the power to change the world. 

The boys were up against some incredible and emotional stories of achievement and strength and after a month-long online vote, finished runners-up, just 8% behind Chapecoense, the Brazilian football team which was torn apart by a devastating plane crash and whose revival and comeback inspired many.

It was an amazing effort by Mark and Jarryd to finish second and showed how many people this story touched.

There was overwhelming support on social media for the boys during the campaign with many AFL Clubs putting rivalries aside to help the boys with votes.



The Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull also took time out from running the country to send a tweet to his followers to encourage them to vote for the boys.



As did singer Delta Goodrem...


The Club and Jarryd and Mark would like to thank all those who took the time to vote for them, with Laureus informing us that over 25,000 votes went their way!                                                                                                                                                           

In a video message the boys sent to the Club, they said:

“Thank you to everyone who voted, unfortunately we couldn’t get over the line but it was an amazing experience nonetheless.”

“We would especially like to thank the Sydney Swans and all their members and fans!”