Red Lions ready to roar

UQ is preparing for its Allied Pickfords debut.

The UQ Red Lions have come a long way since their inception in 1956.

Originally set up by a group of homesick students from footy backgrounds, the club is now preparing to debut in the Allied Pickfords Cup.

In only four years the club has doubled in size from three to six teams and have established a women’s team for the first time this season.

UQ’s promotion from Division Two comes off the back of an incredible 2012, which saw three out of their four teams reach grand finals.

Despite a greater number of Queenslanders coming through the club these days, President Peter Herring said the club still made an effort to create a welcoming environment for new students.

“There are discussions taking place with UQ about how we ensure the club can offer these students a fantastic university experience both in and out of the classroom,” Herring said.

“We’re keen to continue this tradition of providing a home away from home for all our members.”

The community atmosphere developed at the club last beyond a player’s uni days, with many players maintaining thir links with the club well after graduation, despite moving to other cities.

“Many of our members move away from Brisbane after graduating to take up jobs in other parts of the country. When they get there, the first thing they do is seek out the local footy club,” Herring said.

“We’re proud that they can bring with them a fantastic UQAFC experience to their new club.”

“Many of the original Red Lions continue to remain actively involved in the club through the Old Boys network, keeping track of their playing mates from all over Australia.”

The club has been home to some well-known Aussies through its existence, including broadcaster John Harms and Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan.

As well as building a strong culture, the Red Lions are continuing to provide opportunities for promising footballers at UQ.

The club offered scholarships to full-time students who want to play with the Red Lions for the second time this year, with Jordan Morrison, Jordan McDonald, Lewis Radford and Zac Southern the succesful applicants this year.

UQ will make their Allied Pickfords Cup debut on Saturday April 20, against Maroochydore at UQ.

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