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Charity Match a Special Day for Novita’s Bulldog Jonathan

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Saturday’s Round Six SANFL Statewide Super League clash between Centrals and Norwood at X Convenience Oval is more than just a match for premiership points for Bulldogs big man Jonathan Marsh.

It’s the Bulldogs’ annual game raising funds for disability service provider Novita – returning to the calendar in 2021 after being postponed last season due to COVID-19.

Today’s match will be the first time in the more than decade-long charity partnership between Centrals and Novita that a staff member will take the field. Jonathan is a highly-skilled Orthotics Technician with Novita’s Assistive Technology unit Novitatech, as well as leading the ruck for the Dogs.

“I design and manufacture customised orthotic devices including ankle and foot orthoses and different kinds of shoe modifications, all designed to assist our clients who need extra support for their muscles and bones to achieve their mobility goals,” says Jonathan.

“I wasn’t at Novita for the first charity match I played, but now that I’ve been there for about 16 months and have seen the difference our work can make to the lives of people living with disability, today’s match becomes much bigger for me.

“Every week we get to play with the Novita logo on our shorts, which I cherish, and having the opportunity to wear the specially-designed Novita jumper in a match is really special.”

“I wasn’t at Novita for the first charity match I played, but now that I’ve been there for about 16 months and have seen the difference our work can make to the lives of people living with disability, today’s match becomes much bigger for me.

CDFC Ruckman & Novita Staff Member - Jonathan Marsh

Jonathan will be joined at the game by 20-year-old Novita ambassador Cameron Bibl, who participates in Novita’s popular Transition to Work program which supports young adults living with disability to gain the skills and experience they need to enter the workforce.

Cameron will toss the coin for the match, as well as having other responsibilities on the day, and says it’s a special day for Novita.

“I’ve been looking forward to tossing the coin and making a speech. I really want to work in event management, and the Transition to Work program is helping me to achieve that,” says Cameron.

There’s another strong connection between the Bulldogs and Novita – former State Governor and well-known Centrals fan Kevin Scarce is Novita’s President. Retired Bulldogs captain Trent Goodrem also continues in his role as a Novita Ambassador.

Novita Chief Executive Officer Greg Ward says the charity partnership with the Central District Football Club has been a great success for more than a decade.

“We have a strong presence in Adelaide’s north, with one of our largest therapy hubs at Elizabeth, just a short distance from X Convenience Oval, as well as a hub at Parafield Gardens. Both support many kids, young people and adults living with disability and their families,” he says.

“Today’s match has become a highlight of Novita’s annual fundraising calendar, and it’s great to be back after missing out last year because of the pandemic.

“I wish all the Bulldogs and Redlegs players and officials the best of luck for the game, and thank everyone at Centrals for their on-going support for Novita and South Australians living with disability.”