As one of Canberra’s premier sporting clubs, Eastlake Football Club has built itself a reputation as an all-inclusive sports club since its inception in 1926. The Eastlake club exists “to provide an opportunity for all young males and females to participate in the game of AFL,” says General Manager Football Shaun Young. The club also goes beyond simply focusing on AFL and is committed to the health and wellbeing of its members.
“The Eastlake Football Club prides itself on providing an outlet for its members to involve themselves in sports and learn life skills and lessons along the way,” says Shaun. The club regularly facilitates a number of school clinics in Canberra’s south, runs Auskick clinics every Friday night and provides education programs for men and women designed to help teach the skills needed to transition into adulthood.
Over the past few years Eastlake has seen significant growth in its participation numbers, now having over 700 participants with one third being female. “The growth in female numbers allowed the club to field two senior women’s teams in the 2019 season, along with girls/youth teams in under 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s,” says Shaun.
Shaun goes on to say that he believes female participation in AFL will be massive and the club is actively looking at ways to ensure all players have access to the same experience with the club. “AFL has previously been male dominated and facilities reflect that, which is why the club has recently submitted a grant to update some of the facilities around Canberra, especially in regards to providing players with a gender neutral change room,” says Shaun. Another challenge the club faces due to their growth revolves around resourcing, with the required number of volunteers to run the sporting programs doubling.
Eastlake is able to effectively manage their growth by creating strong partnerships with local businesses. With Shaun saying, “It is our partnership with businesses such as MGI Joyce|Dickson that allows us to ensure participation across all levels of football including juniors, women’s, males and seniors. These partnerships ensure we can deliver on future initiatives and continue to provide a healthy outlet to the Canberra community.”
When asked why it was important for MGI Joyce|Dickson to partner with Eastlake, Lorin Joyce managing Partner said, “it is important for MGI to partner with Eastlake due to their dedication to the community. For a number of players the club is their second home and this family vibe is felt by not only the players but the Eastlake employees and external business partners. The club has created an atmosphere that allows us to feel part of something bigger than just AFL, it allows us to feel part of their community,” says Lorin.
MGI Joyce|Dickson is a proud sponsor of the Eastlake Football Club and looks forward to continuing to grow with the club in the coming years.
To find out more about Eastlake Football Club visit https://eastlakefc.com.au
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