Sport

Lions end their camp on the Fraser Coast with a bang

Brisbane Lions Auskick Fun Day at Seafront Oval - young lions (L) Alistair Heckels, Max Kelly, Harrison and Ben Jones and Jack Beaven with Lions players Ryan Harwood, Matt Maguire and Jordan Lisle.
Brisbane Lions Auskick Fun Day at Seafront Oval - young lions (L) Alistair Heckels, Max Kelly, Harrison and Ben Jones and Jack Beaven with Lions players Ryan Harwood, Matt Maguire and Jordan Lisle. Alistair Brightman

THE pride of Brisbane town has left an indelible mark on the Fraser Coast with the Brisbane Lions' visit proving a roaring success.

The AFL club ended its two-day Community Camp with visits to hospitals, after earlier in the day providing a bunch of kids an experience they'll never forget.

More than 150 kids took part in a fun Auskick clinic at Hervey Bay's Seafront Oval on Saturday, while twice as many parents and supporters watched from the sideline.

Lions players Jack Redden, Joel Patfull, James Polkinghorne, Matt Maguire, Ryan Harwood, Jordan Lisle and Jordan Bourke played significant roles in encouraging kids and the community to ignite their passion for Australia's game.

Seven-year-old Alistair Heckels was one who got a huge kick out of their visit.

Having participated in Auskick at his school, St James Lutheran College, the past four years, the young Lions diehard will be making the transition to club footy this year.

"I think it is good for his sport, because he is a good little sportsman," Alistair's mother Kim said.

"Even for his older brother William (10), who is an Essendon fan, just coming here and meeting the real players makes such a huge difference to their games."

Brisbane small forward and midfield prospect, James Polkinghorne, said he was surprised by how strong the Lions' fan base was on the Fraser Coast.

"It was a great turnout for kids, which is always a great sign," the 25-year-old told the Chronicle while signing autographs.

"They're definitely excited obviously because they're not around footy as much as they would like to be in the city.

"But from our point of view, it is great to see so many people following the code up here, especially in Queensland with rugby being strong, we always want to see AFL kids running around."