Lions hope to grow pride
AFL stars encourage kids to play
AFL: Two of the AFL’S rising talents have made their way to Lockyer Valley this week, hoping to boost the profile of aussie rules in the rugbymad region.
Brisbane Lions players Lachie Neale and James Madden spent Monday and Tuesday in the region as part of the AFL Community Camps program.
The pair visited schools in the Gatton and Laidley area and hosted a clinic for youngsters at Cahill Park.
Lions players spent the week trekking around the state to encourage youngsters to give the game a try.
Neale said the events were an important way of connecting with the community.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for all of the Brisbane Lions players to come out and get involved and interact with some of the kids,” Neale said.
With Gatton a little further than the pair was used to travelling, he said it was a good opportunity to build AFL’S presence in the region.
“To come out and experience out here and get the kids to experience some AFL – it’s great exposure for everyone,” he said.
The response from the children with whom the pair had spent time had been very positive, Neale said.
“The kids have been fantastic,” he said.
“Obviously being a rugby dominated state you’re not really sure how they’re going to respond but everyone’s been willing to have a go and really interactive.”
Neale said getting kids involved with the game at a grassroots level was a valuable part of the AFL’S community engagement.
“It’s something I think the AFL does really well and hopefully it brings more kids into the game, especially in Queensland,” he said.
“It’s crucial for us to get out and involve ourselves in the community being a rugby state here.”
Darling Downs AFL Queensland regional manager Jeff Neumann said it was exciting to bring the Brisbane Lions to the local fans in Gatton.
“AFL Community Camps are the perfect platform for fans, no matter where they live, to access the game and their favourite players,” Neumann said.
“AFL Community Camps are an important way for us to encourage younger players to get involved in our game.
“That can be through NAB AFL Auskick, Junior Football, community football and school programs.”
RISING STARS: Brisbane Lions players Lachie Neale and James Madden have been promoting AFL in the region this week as part of the AFL’S Community Camps program.