For the past nine years the Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy has been a talent factory, producing some of the AFL and AFLW’s most exciting players.

Nine of the Lions’ current AFL list started their footballing journey with the Academy. Harris Andrews, the Lions Vice-Captain, is amongst the alumni. His teammate, Eric Hipwood, one of the competition’s most exciting young forwards was also with him. Archie Smith, Ben Keays, Jacob Allison, Connor Ballenden, Jack Payne, Tom Fullarton and Connor McFadyen all came through the Academy ranks before being drafted to the Club.

The women’s team boasts just as many graduates, with 2018 AFLW Rising Star nominee Sophie Conway amongst them. Joining her are Natalie Grider, Gabby Collingwood, Jade Ellenger and Jesse Wardlaw.

The Lions are passionate and committed to developing the AFL and AFLW’s future stars, but they need your help.

This End of Financial Year the Lions are asking people to donate to Help Kids Thrive, a fundraiser to provide 75 more places in the Hyundai Help for Kids Academy for 2020.

For as little as $25 you can help us reach our goal. 

Meet Bruce Reville is one such player whose life has changed since joining the Academy four years ago.

At 14 years of age, coaches saw his potential and believed he could be a special player when they decided to draft him into the Academy.

He grew up in Howard, a small town outside of Maryborough, Queensland with his two older siblings. His Dad raised him after he lost him Mum at a young age.

Bruce wanted to chase his football dreams but financially it was not feasible for him to move to Brisbane, which devastated him. The commute from Howard to Brisbane for training sessions became too much.

But Academy staff and supporters would not give up. They worked tirelessly to keep Bruce’s dream alive and recently he and his Dad were able to relocate together to Brisbane.

Since then, he has gone of to play for the AFL’s National Academy and could one day become another Academy graduate on the Lions list.

With a generous gift of $75, you can keep kids like Bruce’s dreams alive. At the Academy they will have access to specialised coaches, teaching them discipline and preparation skills for life on and off the field. Your contribution could benefit the Club’s future success.