Cherbourg teen, Christine Watson, is chasing her dream of an AFLW career through the Lions Academy thanks to the Goldman Lazarus Family Academy Scholarship.
The scholarship ensures Christine receives football boots, runners, a GPS watch and a gym membership as well as accommodation and travel expenses for this season.
The scholarship was developed by the Goldman Lazarus family in honour of Leon Goldman who was a long-time Fitzroy supporter.
Mr Goldman escaped from Eastern Europe at the end of WW2 and came to Australia as a refugee.
He encountered kindness and support from his local community and his daughter and son-in-law Terri and Jono Lazarus created the scholarship to provide the same leg up to young athletes who show great community spirit and leadership.
“People gave Leon a helping hand to get where he got to in life and that is something we want to do for others,’’ Jono Lazarus said.
“We wanted to set up a scholarship for those that can’t get to the academy for financial reasons.
“In his name we would take away that barrier.’’
Mr Lazarus met Christine when she made a recent trip with the Under 18s side to Melbourne and was immediately convinced they had chosen a worthy recipient.
“The scholarship is for someone who is community minded, someone who shows leadership and wants to give back, and it is also for someone who is showing potential on the field,’’ he said.
“We got to meet Christine and she is exactly what we were looking for.’’
Christine was nominated for the scholarship by Jana Anderson from AFL Darling Downs.
She described the 17-year-old as an outstanding young leader who was a terrific mentor to younger students through her school, the Concordia Lutheran College’s Peer Support Program.
She is excelling at school where she is both sports and boarding house captain for 2022.
She has won citizenship awards in 2020 and 2021 and also demonstrates great pride in her Indigenous heritage and played an active role in planning the NAIDOC Week celebrations.