President’s Address From The Inaugural Gala Ball

Good evening and welcome to the very first UQAFC Gala Dinner. From the outset we all need to agree on something. Red Lions are very much like Olympians. You see there is no such thing as a former Olympian or an ex-Olympians – there are only Olympians. The Red Lions are identical – once you have played for the UQAFC, once you have gone into battle FOR the Red Lions, WITH Red Lions and AS a Red Lion, you are forever a Red Lion. Welcome to Red Lions one and all.

To those we welcome back after a period away, the club is a very different place to the one you represented before. The club has enjoyed a period of rapid development having been promoted to the highest competitive level of community football in Queensland, the QAFL or State League for season 2014. From fielding only 4 teams in 2011, the club now fields 8 teams including 5 men’s teams under Senior Coach Matthew Stewart, a thriving U18 group led ably by Brenton Crilly and remarkably 2 ladies teams under the tutelage of Michael Swann representing a club of over 240 registered players.

It is important we recognise and thank so many people on an evening such as this.

On behalf of the entire UQAFC family, thank you and congratulations to Tim MacKinley, Sinead Hastie, Millie Reid and Alistair Carlson for their efforts to make tonight spectacular. It’s fantastic to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the 1984 win and great to see those lads here, thank you for your support of the event.

Next year we will be celebrating the 50th and Golden Anniversary of the Golden Era of the UQAFC. In 2015 it will be 50 years since the 1965 premiership, the 5th flag in only 7 seasons from 1959 to 1965, no doubt a night to look forward to. The following year, 2016 is the 60th anniversary of the club itself and also the 50th anniversary of the 1966 premiership – there is a lot to celebrate and we ask you to attend these events also to help us celebrate these magnificent club milestones.

Thank you to our valued sponsors for the 2014 season and this event:

ICL at Geebung
The Normal Hotel at Woolloongabba
The UQ OMC at UQ
The Victory Hotel in the city
Xradiology at Toowong
BOH Dental in the city
Pentacon Construction at South Brisbane
Smarte Carte Australia at Brisbane Airport
Rainbow Slushies at Toowong
PwC Australia in Brisbane
Allsports Physio at Indrops
Queensland Combined Orthopaedic Specialists at Toowong
Snap Fitness at Toowong
UQ Sport and the UQ Sports Academy
John Darky Harms and the team at The Footy Almanac
Michael Blucher at The Third Half Elite Sports Services
Royal on the Park Hotel

We also need to thank the AFL. After signing a $1.2b TV rights deal they have been magnificent in using their new financial firepower to send us even more email, send us even more confusing law interpretations and of course to send us even more frequently, bigger and better invoices for playing their great game!

Thanks must go to the University and UQ Sport for the incredibly successful scholarships program, the recognition the club enjoys and the first class playing facilities, in particular Shane Biddle and his team of playing fields experts who deliver us a surface that is the envy of the competition.

On behalf of the entire playing group, this is a perfect opportunity to thank all the coaches and volunteers under the direction of Director of Coaching Travis Warren who ensure the ongoing development of the playing group and our on field success. Thanks too, to the members of the committee whose guidance has seen the club take such giant strides. You might say the club is in rude health. More recognition and support from the league and the Uni, more sponsors, volunteers and players than ever before.

We’re even holding a fancy gala dinner this year!

However we actually need even more help. The barely adequate resources available to us a few years back are now stretched even further. We need funds to continually support the football department and the scholarships and coaching development programs, funds to support marketing, sponsorship and membership programs and of course, funds to support our push for a dedicated AFL playing facility on campus.

With our 60th anniversary so close, 60 years is long enough to wait for our own ground. The drive to find that money to finally have our own patch on campus starts tonight.

Every Red Lion will be asked to contribute, buy tickets in raffles, attend gala dinners and simply reply to our emails with ideas and requests to help contact other Red Lions.

Every Red Lion will be asked to help with our plans to build a brand new dedicated, AFL playing facility on campus. Ladies and gentlemen the planning has started on a ground tucked away in a quiet, leafy suburb with unlimited parking This will be an AFL ground on a prime riverfront block with water views and the finest natural amphitheatre for AFL football in Queensland.

Most importantly, it will be somewhere with room to hang our premiership flags, somewhere with space to display our premiership trophies and just maybe, if you all support the cause and I am asking you to answer the call and dig deep, it will be a place that the University of Queensland Australian Football Club established in 1956 and known proudly as the Red Lions can finally call home.

The University of Queensland Australian Football Club (est 1956) is one of the largest sporting clubs based on the UQ campus. Recognised by AFL athletes as the preferred club at which to develop their professional and sporting careers, the UQAFC is a professional organisation based on amateur values where the UQ AFL community can enjoy competitive success, personal and professional development and life enriching social experiences in a safe, engaging and respectful environment. The club offers UQ Sports Achievement Scholarships specifically for AFL athletes studying and playing at the University of Queensland. With teams in the QAFL, QAFA and QWAFL, the UQAFC plays matches throughout south east Queensland each season. If you would like to contact the UQAFC about our media releases please contact our Media Manager, to enquire about sponsorship opportunities please contact our Sponsorship manager, or to find out more about playing with the club please click here.