BRUSH WITH LIONS STARS

Lions bring the roar to young fans

Maroochy Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - Annie Caughey Annie.Caughey@sc­news.com.au

KAWANA ea­gles may have got their hawk cries con­fused with roars after the lucky foot­ball club re­ceived a last-minute visit from Bris­bane Lions play­ers last week.

Three play­ers from the AFL club came out to run a 45-minute ses­sion with the young­sters leav­ing the fu­ture footy stars in ab­so­lute awe.

How­ever, steal­ing the show, were adorable un­der nines play­ers who re­ceived in­di­vid­ual Lions jer­seys per­son­ally pre­sented to them from stars like Eric Hip­wood and Jack Payne.

Kawana Ea­gles vice pres­i­dent Ja­son Lenske said the event is a great way to pro­mote the sport in the re­gion as it in­spired ju­nior play­ers about the path­ways the game can take them on.

“Eric Hip­wood was an un­der eight here at Kawana Ea­gles,” he said.

“It’s great for the kids to see cur­rent Lions play­ers that have been at the club and made their way through the sys­tem and are now play­ing in the big league.”

AFL Sun­shine Coast re­gional man­ager Paul Tressie said the pop­u­lar­ity of the game has re­mained strong over the last ten years but the league is al­ways look­ing for ways to ex­pand its fol­low­ing, es­pe­cially in the fe­male league.

“It’s great they get out into the com­mu­nity, we en­cour­age it and wel­come them ev­ery time they come,” he said.

“It gives kids par­tic­i­pat­ing the op­por­tu­nity to get up close and per­sonal with their AFL idols.”

Two other clubs in the re­gion were also the lucky re­cip­i­ents of the sur­prise Lions visit as the stars made tracks at the Northshore Jets and Pomona Demons.

Un­der nine play­ers at th­ese clubs were also pre­sented with jer­seys, as part of a mem­ber en­gage­ment in­no­va­tive the Bris­bane club has been run­ning over the last few years.

Mr Tressie said kids across all age groups got their spe­cial mo­ment with the AFL stars.

PHOTO: WAR­REN LY­NAM

MINI ME: Taj Kick,11, from the Kawana Park Ea­gles meets Bris­bane Lions player Eric Hip­wood.

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