Community camps kicking goals again

AFL Community Camps are done and dusted for 2023 with more than 25,000 kids taking part following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

Brisbane Lions players visited more than 12,000 students across 51 schools in the Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast, Darling Downs, and Southeast Queensland regions.

Speaking at the Super Clinic in Toowoomba, Lions’ defender Brandon Starcevich reflected on his own experiences with AFL visits and the role Community Camps play for young fans.

“I grew up in Perth and I remember having some West Coast Eagles players coming to my primary school, I was a Freo supporter, but it was pretty cool to have some AFL players at your school, running a few clinics and chatting with them,” he said.

“They were definitely role models and superstars in my eyes so it’s pretty weird to be on the other side of it now.”

More than 2,000 people took part in community club visits where the Lions put the kids through their paces at training.  

Click here for all the Brisbane Lions Community Camp photos. 

The SUNS reached fans far and wide with visits up to Cairns and Darwin and down to Logan and the Northern Rivers in New South Wales.

SUNS forward Alex Sexton visited the Murwillumbah Vulcans said it was important to get out and connect with communities near and far.  

“Coming out to places like the Northern Rivers and especially the Vulcans, these communities have been really unlucky lately with the floods and things haven’t gone their way, so we love coming out here and seeing the kids smiles and seeing the parents get a kick out of it too and giving back because that’s what players did for us when we were little kids,” he said.

“I remember when Auskick came out and really caught my eye at school and all of my mates jumped straight on board so it is important we reach out to the young community because that’s where we all started and hopefully, we can grow them to where we are.”

The Gold Coast is certainly on its way to producing the next SUNS star, with a 5-10% increase in NAB Auskick registrations following the SUNS visits.

Click here for all the Gold Coast SUNS Community Camp photos. 

Another big part of this year’s community camps was the inclusion of coaching masterclasses which saw more than 100 community coaches rub shoulders with some of the best in the business like the Lions and SUNS’ head coaches Chris Fagan and Stuart Dew.

More than 50 people also took part in the Tackle Your Feelings workshop with Touk Miller on the Gold Coast, helping give coaches the tools to help them manage players who may be struggling with their mental health.

Since the camps began in 2003, more than one million children have been reached during school and club visits across Australia.

Register for the 2023 community footy season here

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