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Battling it out for The Big Issue

Lions support Big Issue Brisbane Lions players Nat Exon, Bella Ayre, Lewis Taylor and Matt Eagles help sell The Big Issue in the Brisbane city to help raise funds for the homeless.

The Big Issue put our two Brisbane Lions sides to the test: who could sell the most magazines and calendars in 30 minutes in the CBD.

The Big Issue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and creating work opportunities for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people.

They are most famous for The Big Issue magazines, where vendors keep a cut for every issue sold.

On Monday morning, AFLW players Bella Ayre and Nat Exon, with the help of regular Big Issue vendor Janine, were put to the test.

The pair hit Queen St, determined to sell as many magazines as possible and set a high target for the boys the next day. But just minutes into the challenge, they realised how difficult the task would be.

“It’s not easy to approach people on the street,” Ayre said.

Exon agreed, “It was really good, a real eye-opening experience."

“We were only here for half an hour, but it was really tough. Just trying to approach people and get them to buy a magazine.”


Often the pair were met with rejection when approaching strangers.

The following day, Matt Eagles and Lewis Taylor had the same luck.

“It’s a lot harder than it looks,” Taylor said

The men just edged the women in the competition. Eagles and Taylor sold seven Big Issue magazines and seven calendars while Ayre and Exon sold the same amount of magazines, but only two calendars.


All were unanimous in appreciating what a tough gig this would be each day. 

“It’s a great experience, very humbling,” Eagles said.

“Janine’s here three days a week doing it to make a living,” Exon said.

“I guess I’m very impressed with how these guys do it.”

“I’m very thankful for the life that I do have,” Ayre said.

 “To Janine, who’s supporting her family, it’s a big thing.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs