When it comes to football, the choice for Baylee Austen is black and white.
The seven-year-old loves the Collingwood Football Club – and he’s not afraid to show it.
The Year 2 Kewdale Primary School student was born with a limb difference and when he had a 3D-printed hand made for him, he had no problem choosing a Collingwood theme.
Black and white represents both the AFL’s ladder leading Collingwood Magpies, and his school. A magpie also features on the Kewdale Primary School emblem.
The hand was made by Mat Bowtell and the team at Free 3D Hands, a Victorian-based charity that designs and manufactures hands and other assistive devices.
Baylee recently had the amazing opportunity of being a junior mascot for Collingwood, leading the team out onto the field at the MCG ahead of a blockbuster clash against Geelong.
“I was chosen to be the mascot as Mat (the man that makes 3D Hands for kids) was talking at a conference in Melbourne” Baylee said.
“He was telling the people how he made a Collingwood hand for a little boy in Perth and that was me. The club then got in touch with my daddy, who loves the Pies too.”
Baylee got to meet the team at training, had a kick, and got his Collingwood jumper signed by some of his favourite players.
“It was so exciting and so much fun,” he said. “I kicked one point and one goal. (Jack) Ginnivan also got some of the banner for me. I love Nick Daicos. He wears number 35 and I hope he gets to play in the finals”.
Kewdale Primary School Principal Natalie Oddy said they were delighted to see Baylee shine on the national stage.
“Baylee is an absolutely fantastic student and we are all so proud of him at Kewdale,” Ms Oddy said.