CARLTON defender Adam Saad has been recognised for his outstanding efforts in the community, receiving the 2021 Tom Hafey Variety Heart of Football Award.

In honour of the late Tom Hafey, Variety presents the award annually to recognise a current AFL or AFLW player who has inspired the children’s charity through their selfless actions and dedication to children. 

Since becoming a Blue during the 2020 trade period, Saad has immersed himself across all aspects of the Club while continuing his endeavours to have a positive impact on aspiring young footballers through the Adam Saad Pathways program.

Established by the 27-year-old in 2018, the program includes the Adam Saad Academy, which is an eight-week development and leadership program that aims to develop role models throughout the community and within households.

With a goal to have participants learn about their culture, religion, and identity, the program strives to build good character, while developing football skills on and off the field.

Setting aside time outside of his football schedule, Saad delivered the program for the first time as a Blue in 2021, uniting 25 young athletes from a variety of cultural backgrounds. 

Carlton Head of Football Brad Lloyd said the award is a testament to Saad’s character and his commitment to developing others.

“Adam is an extremely generous person who has a passion for helping others,” Lloyd said.

“We are extremely proud to see him acknowledged for the commitment he has shown and the time he has devoted to helping youth who look up to him as a role model.

“Adam sets a very strong example across our football club both on and off the field, and we congratulate him for his efforts in making a difference throughout the community.”  

Saad joins Eddie Betts, Andrew McLeod, Robert Harvey, Harry Taylor, Scott Selwood and Gary Rohan as recipients of the award.