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For the fifth consecutive year, Slater and Gordon will partner with the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood football clubs to promote the inclusion of people of all abilities in sport and across the wider community.

The two teams will face off in this Friday’s highly anticipated Round 1 clash, competing for the Robert Rose Cup, named in honour of a former star footballer and cricketer who was left a quadriplegic after a car accident more than four decades ago.

As part of the pregame celebrations, two young football fans – who have previously been supported by Slater and Gordon – will join players on each team as they run onto the MCG’s hallowed turf.

The two Junior Mascots have been selected for the honour after each having been involved in a Slater and Gordon personal injury claim, which can often be an extremely traumatic experience for young people and their families.

Izobell, 11, will run alongside the young Magpies squad while Bulldogs supporter Mitchell, 8, will accompany Robert Murphy and his reigning Premier teammates.

Izobell – who was seriously injured in a car accident that also claimed her mother’s life – said she couldn’t wait for the opportunity to be part of the game on such an exciting night. Mitchell – who was the victim of a vicious dog attack – said he was excited to be meeting his heroes, particularly forward Jake Stringer.

Robert Rose, the son of Magpie legend Bob Rose, played 26 games for Collingwood between 1970 and 1972 and nine for Footscray in 1973. He also played 19 first-class cricket games for Victoria as a batsman.

In 1974 and at the age of 22, Rose was left a quadriplegic following a car accident. After he passed away in 1999, the Robert Rose Foundation was launched in his honour, providing support to those suffering from spinal injuries and living with physical disabilities.

The Robert Rose Cup has been played between the two teams since 2000 with Slater and Gordon taking part since 2013.

Slater and Gordon, Victorian General Manager, Personal Injury, Dina Tutungi said supporting people with disability and promoting their participation and inclusion is very important to the organisation and a key area of focus for its work in the community.

“We know that participation rates in sports and recreation activities among people with a disability are considerably lower than that of the rest of the population,” Ms Tutungi said.

“Only one in three people with disability participate in a sporting activity compared with two in three of those without disability.

“Supporting people with disability and promoting their participation and inclusion is very important to our organisation and a key area of focus for our work in the community.”

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