Footy camps are aimed at bringing a group together, having a laugh and fine tuning the teams fitness levels before the start of the season.
The Moreton Bay Lions ticked every one of those boxes, but they did it without picking up a Sherrin.
The Lions spent two days giving back. They got their hands dirty, and pitched in to help any locals in need.
Whether it was building fences, cleaning sheds, painting, or removing rubbish, the boys were happy to do it all.
“We really care about people’s perception of our club, our team and our community and this was a chance to show we are not all about ourselves and we really do need the support of our community for us to succeed,” Senior Coach Rob Dickfos said.
“I believed we showed the true spirit and value of a community club by offering a hand to someone we didn’t even know, and who didn’t know us but accepted our offer anyway.
“People have asked us why, it’s simple, because we can and why not.”
One of the four team leaders across the weekend, Jackson Dickfos, son of Rob, said it was strength in numbers getting the jobs done.
“With ten blokes doing manual labour, compared to one person trying to chip away at these jobs, you get a lot more down. They said it would probably take about five months to get done some of the fences we did.
Those who were leant a hand did have their initial doubts.
Who could blame them? When 40 players rock up on your doorstep willing to help you out for free, it sounds to good to be true.
“At the very start they were trying to give us donations and asking us how much money we wanted. That’s what we learnt, these people have little idea what we are about, so this was about making sure they understood that we were benefiting just as much as they were from this, just in a different way,” Jackson said.
It wasn’t just the locals who took something from the weekend though.
“The camaraderie and bonding you gain over the camp, working with your teammates, seeing under stress, hurting a little bit doing work off the footy field, it definitely brings you closer,” he said.
Spending one of you last weekends off before the season starts away from home could get a few peoples backs up.
Not the Lions.
“The old man and I were a bit skeptical at the start, we thought the boys might turn around and say we have plenty of work to do in our own yards. The way that dad explained to them what we were getting from it, and what we wanted to give to these people, I was very surprised and impressed with how much they jumped on board,” Jackson said.
“They cleared their schedules, took off work and organised baby sitters for the kids. They were extremely keen to do this.”
It’s not something they just want to be a one off, either. The next date to help out might be sooner than you think.
“It’s important that we catch up and keep in contact with these people. They are only 20km away from us, be we are a bit oblivious to what they do, they work that gets done and the lifestyle that they live,” Jackson said.
“I can guarantee we will get back there and finish the job, possibly even half way through this year.”
Moreton Bay won their week one Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup game on Saturday against Alexandra Hills, advancing to week two.
By Andrew Wiles