Six Queensland grassroots clubs have celebrated off the field this year after winning exclusive AFL opportunities through 2016 thanks to the FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program.
As recipients of the Bronze-tier award FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program, three QLD clubs – Elimbah Meteors, Gladstone Mudcrabs and the University of Queensland Red Lionesses – won the opportunity to travel to the GWS GIANTS’ Learning Life Centre facilities to be hosted for a tour and coaching seminar with GIANTS’ senior coach, Leon Cameron.
Silver Tier award winners, the Coomera Magpies and Surfers Paradise Demons – both of the AFL Gold Coast region – won half day visits to the Gold Coast SUNS and Brisbane Lions’ training headquarters respectively. The half-day visits included observing the senior squad train, a tour of the facilities, as well sitting in on team and coaches meetings with the AFL club’s coaching staff.
Additionally, the Port Douglas Crocs, from the AFL Cairns competition, got the inside word with the Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge, when the Dogs travelled to Cairns for their Round 17 AFL clash against the Gold Coast SUNS at Cazaly’s Stadium.
The FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program is an initiative driven by Foxtel to support grassroots sport and recognise football clubs and the benefit they deliver to their local community.
Please see below the community initiatives that saw both clubs recognised by the FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program:
Coomera Magpies (Silver Tier)
– Coomera have been actively supportive in doing their bit to support families still reeling from the Toowoomba and Lockyer Valley floods in 2011, through donations of furniture and other house hold items
– The Magpies also lost a senior playing member, Jarrod Clayton, in a tragic accident and have held a memorial round in his honour, which raises money for the young family he left behind as well as other deserving charities
Surfers Paradise Demons AFC (Silver Tier)
– The Demons were sent into shock late last year after under-17 player, Bailey Atto, was severely injured in an almost-fatal car accident
– Recognising Bailey’s family’s financial struggles and their requirement for transport and cash assistance, the club raised a collective $20,000 after Bailey’s teammates had set up a GoFundMe page and money donated from club members
Port Douglas Crocs (Silver Tier)
– The Crocs, this year became involved with the “Pink in the Tropics” group, which raises attention to breast cancer
– On Mother’s Day this year, the club donned the pink jumpers with all money raised from the day being donated back to the Pink in the Tropics ladies
Elimbah Meteors (Bronze Tier)
– Elimbah offers a small and interactive program for children as young as six, plus have also established strong relationships with the surrounding schools and holiday camps with AFL training activities to encourage interest in the sport.
Gladstone Mudcrabs (Bronze Tier)
– Since 2011, the Gladstone Mudcrabs have hosted a charity match against local rivals, the BITS Saints, which sees the club’s senior teams wear a special one-off jersey for this game.
– The jumper is designed to incorporate the colours of the nominated charity selected for that season, with the jerseys then auctioned off post-match and all proceeds being donated to the charity.
University of Queensland Red Lionesses (Bronze Tier)
– The Red Lions girls rallied around, collecting money and fundraising enough to purchase a brand new set of jerseys for the St. Saviours Primary School girls – students primarily from a refugee background.
– Three of the club’s ladies travelled to Toowoomba to present the jerseys at a school assembly. The St Saviours girls went on to win their grand final that evening.
National FOX FOOTY Club Rewards Ambassador and former St Kilda Football Club captain, Danny Frawley, said the program, in its second year of running, continues to reward local clubs with opportunities to learn from the AFL’s elite personnel.
“Local sporting clubs are at the heart of local communities all over Australia and it is fantastic to have organisation such as Foxtel continue to invest at the level where it all begins for so many our AFL players. Hopefully the experiences they undertake as part of the program ensures they continue to grow and develop as a football club and as a strong hold presence in their local community,” Frawley said.
GWS GIANTS head coach, Leon Cameron, who began his football career at a grassroots level with the South Warnambool Football Club in the Hampden Football League, said local football clubs are the backbone of the community.
“Grassroots clubs have an enormous role to play for their local town and its members, so we’re delighted to help reward these local clubs for their community support,” Cameron said.
“By giving them behind the scenes access of a professional AFL club’ coaching staff, the aim will be to have these visiting clubs go away with an understanding of the levels of professionalism, education into the latest analysis that goes into the game and insight into the culture that shapes an elite club environment.”
The FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program has this year rewarded local football clubs with opportunities such as the chance to hear from an elite AFL club’s coaching panel in Melbourne and Sydney. Furthermore, another 17 clubs will be invited to visit an AFL club’s training facilities or experience an AFL club’s inner sanctum on match day.
Foxtel Director of Sports Marketing, Chantal Walker, said Foxtel was proud to continue a partnership with the AFL Coaches Association and FOX FOOTY to reward grassroots club members for their ongoing contribution to their communities.
“It is important to recognise the football clubs and their volunteers that work hard to deliver activities and initiatives to support their local communities both on and off the field. We hope that these money-can’t-buy experiences will provide the local club members with further knowledge and inspiration to continue to their great work,” said Walker
For more information on the FOX FOOTY Club Rewards program, visit www.foxtel.com.au/foxfootyclubrewards