In between filling her AFLW off-season with skating, travelling and catching up with friends, Belle Dawes has been working with AFL Queensland to run Auskick at local Sunshine Coast schools twice a week.
And as it turns out, Auskickers can give Dawes a run for her money.
“I thought I had the most energy in the world, but geez,” Dawes joked.
“These kids can wear me out, I didn’t think that was possible. But I’ve been really enjoying getting involved with the Auskick program, it puts a smile on my face.
“Auskick is all about having fun with your mates, getting to kick a footy and play some games and it’s been so much fun to get out to these schools and share my love for footy with them.
“You know that you’re not going to have them kicking perfectly within the hour, but we have fun kicking the footy around and playing a few games.
“You do hope that maybe now because they’ve met me or they’ve given footy a go, that they have a connection to the Club and to AFL and now want to watch a game or even play one day, that’s part of what makes this job so special to me.”
Dawes herself started her football journey as a nine-year-old at the Frankston Rovers in Melbourne, before moving to Queensland where she played her junior football years with the Coolum Breakers.
After pursuing her senior football at the Maroochydore Roos alongside future Brisbane Lions teammate Lily Postlethwaite, Dawes was drafted to the Lions at Pick 15 in 2019.
Since joining the Club, Dawes has developed a reputation as an electric midfielder who loves to take on the contest.
In her three seasons, the livewire-midfielder has already made an impact on the competition as a 2021 Premiership player, 2021 NAB AFLW Rising Star and 2021 AFLPA 22 under 22 squad member.
With her fourth pre-season at the Lions now in full swing, Dawes is excited to see what Season 7 holds.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the new Clubs go and playing against them, but also how we go,” Dawes said.
“Coming off two completely different seasons, I think it’s going to be really exciting to see what we can do.
“Pre-season has stepped up a whole new level and the entire team is just embracing it.
“I know training with the girls how determined we are and what we want to achieve, so it’ll just be exciting to see what we can do this season.”