All first and second year Lions players returned to Brisbane a few days earlier than the rest of their teammates to attend a camp hosted at Maleny, which is located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Head of Welfare, Leadership and Culture at the Lions, Manny Lynch, said the exercise helped bring the youngest members of the Club together.
“It’s designed purely for the second year boys to tell the first year boys what it was like in their first year,” Lynch said.
“It’s expected that first year boys will deal with such things as insecurities, uncertainty, homesickness and anxiety at times, so it can be reassuring to hear that the second year boys went through exactly the same thing 12 months ago.”
But it wasn’t all fun for the newcomers, who were also required to complete a series of tough physical exercises.
“We went on a 20km hike on the Saturday morning at the national park there, it was great,” draftee Sam Mayes said.
“It took about five hours to complete, and there were different tasks we had to do along the way – like keeping a rope above our shoulders and not letting it touch the ground.”
“We also had to carry footys, and the coaches were trying to knock them on the ground and get us punishments and stuff like that. It was a good experience.”
“To get around all the second year players as well, and to get to know them a bit more was good for us as well.”
Michael Close believed the experience helped give the young recruits a greater sense of belonging.
“I’m still a bit sore after (the hike), but it was a great team building thing for the first and second years,” Close said.
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