A new, school-based Australian rules outreach program is set to help City of Logan high school students realise their potential on and off the field.
The Logan Lions Youth Academy, developed by Brisbane Lions Football Club and supported by Logan City Council, was launched at Mabel Park State High School in Slacks Creek this week.
The program will provide tailored AFL skills training for up to 50 students each year, with a strong focus on mental and physical health, nutrition, leadership, and wellbeing.
The creation of the academy is part of a long-standing agreement between Logan City Council and Brisbane Lions to support the development of sport in the city.
The club has contributed more than $1 million to City of Logan sporting programs since the construction of the Lions @ Springwood (Pannikin Street) facility in 2009.
Mayor Darren Power said the new academy was about providing students with opportunities for success not only in sport, but in other areas of life.
“We are delighted to support Brisbane Lions in the rollout of this important program, which will cater to the needs of the whole athlete, not only their sporting abilities,” Cr Power said.
“It is no secret that we have a wealth of sporting talent in the City of Logan and this is yet another pathway for our ambitious young sportspeople to succeed.”
Places in the Logan Lions Youth Academy will initially be available to interested students enrolled at Mabel Park SHS.
In coming years, the program will be extended other City of Logan senior and primary schools, which will also be able to access support for sporting infrastructure and equipment.
The academy’s first class of students will learn first-hand from high-profile Brisbane Lions AFLW player Courtney Hodder, who has recently joined Mabel Park SHS’ student support staff.
Brisbane Lions CEO Greg Swann said the club was thrilled to launch a long-term project that would provide significant opportunities for students in the City of Logan.
“Over the years many talented athletes have come from the Logan region, and we are confident the academy will see that continue,” Mr Swann said.
“One of our AFLW players, Courtney Hodder, is a great example of a young athlete who tried different sports and is now one of the best small forwards in the AFLW competition.
“With access to not only equipment and infrastructure, but our academy coaches and high-performance resources, we hope to see many athletes follow in Courtney’s footsteps.”
City Lifestyle Chair Councillor Laurie Koranski said the academy was another way the City of Logan would build on its reputation for sporting success.
“Council recognises the vital that role sport, and access to sport, plays in the development of healthy and connected communities,” Cr Koranski said.
“We are proud to support initiatives that promote and encourage participation in sport among our youth, who have so many pathways ahead of them.”
Division 3 Councillor Mindy Russell said Mabel Park SHS was an ideal home for the new sporting program.
“Mabel Park is one of the fastest-growing high schools in our city, and its staff and students are already kicking goals in many ways,” Cr Russell said.
“The school is among local leaders in education and student wellbeing with initiatives such as its Health Hub and Certificate III course in drone piloting, STEM, CityStudio and Catapult activities as well as strong achievements on the sporting field in recent years.
“I cannot think of a better fit for this ground-breaking AFL academy.”