AFLW stars were among the crowd cheering on 17-year-old Lacey Kennedy from the Latrobe Valley who was awarded the inaugural AFL Values Award at the Ladder end of Season Celebration Lunch hosted by Atlantic Group and the AFL.

Lacey was recognised with this award for demonstrating the AFL’s values during her time in the Ladder Step Up Latrobe Valley program.

The Ladder Step Up Latrobe Valley program delivers mentoring and development sessions to young people facing barriers to employment.

The young people receive mentorship and individual coaching and participate in group camps, community projects and complete job tasters.

AFL Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications and Ladder Board Director, Elizabeth Lukin announced the Award winner.

“At the AFL, we are proud to embody a set of values which include, Playing to Win; Playing with Passion; Playing Fair and Playing as a Team.

“Today, I am proud to announce that Ladder program participant, Lacey Kennedy is the inaugural winner of the 2018 AFL Values Award."

"Lacey has exemplified the AFL values during her time in the Ladder program. She is a respectful and passionate program participant who concluded the program with 100 per cent attendance. She shows passion in everything she does and is always thinking of others. She is fair and has been appreciative of all the opportunities that she has been provided with through the Ladder Step Up Latrobe Valley program,” Ms Lukin said.

Ladder Acting CEO Stephanie De Campo congratulated Lacey on winning the Award and acknowledged her achievements during the program.

“Lacey is a very deserving winner of this Award. At Ladder, we provide mentorship, coaching and support but overall, young people will get out of the program what they put in.

“Lacey should be proud of her achievements."

AFLW Western Bulldogs’ players, Ellie Blackburn, Bonnie Toogood and Libby Birch attended the lunch to support the young people.

“We are proud to be here today to support the Latrobe Valley young people who have made great inroads, both personally and professionally, this year,” AFLW Premiership Captain and Ladder Project Officer, Ellie Blackburn said.

To find out more about the Ladder program, visit The Ladder Step Up Latrobe Valley receives funding from the Victorian Government.