The Gold Coast SUNS will be saying thank you to each and every one of its dedicated members and supporters this weekend as the club celebrates Thank You Round at Heritage Bank Stadium.
As the 2023 AFL home and away season draws to a close, the SUNS announced it had reached a major milestone on Friday morning eclipsing 23,000 members for the first time in 2023.
Long-term SUNS member Vicki Rulton, who was named as Captain in the Member Team of the Year, says it’s an honour to lead the club’s record-breaking membership base.
“I didn’t know (being named captain) until everybody was sending me congratulations messages (on Thursday night),” Rulton said.
“It’s great to lead this great group of members. All our members are fantastic and I’m stoked to lead them.
“I started watching the SUNS when the club first started, I wasn’t a member at first. I came to all the games for two years and then I got the bug and joined in 2012.
“I’ve been a member ever since and very proudly shout and scream, sing our song and wave my flag every week to help them along. They tell me I’m so loud that they hear me.”
Rulton’s SUNS support from the stands is infectious, even drawing the ire of opposition supporters in enemy territory at Marvel Stadium earlier this year.
“I didn’t realise the tickets were amongst all the Richmond supporters and I had my son and grandson with me, who are Richmond supporters,” she added.
“I just get excited when I watch my boys play - a couple of the Richmond supporters did ask me to leave and go where I belong, but I didn’t and I kept going because I’m proud of my boys.”
When asked on her favourite SUN, there was one clear answer.
“Everyone knows it’s Nick Holman. He’s been a rock to me. I’ve been through some tough times and Nick has always been there supporting me, and continues to support me as much as I hope he feels support him as well.”
Holman and interim coach Steven King were both on hand to congratulate Vicki on Friday morning with King reinforcing just how important the support from each SUNS member has been in 2023.
“Any time you hit new records it just highlights the great work that is being done here over a period of time. The stability of the playing group, and the entertaining brand of footy where people can see what’s around the corner means a lot,” King said.
“I’m out in the community a lot with junior sport being a father. There are lots of people who follow footy up here and we just need them to come along, experience what it’s like to come to a game and sign on as members.
“I encourage every person on the Gold Coast to come along this week and invest into the club and their community. Hopefully they get a sense of pride in the way we go about things as a club and hopefully we can make them proud.”
You can join in all the Thank You Round activities at Heritage Bank Stadium this Saturday. Click HERE for all the important match day information.
Tickets are available via Ticketek with gates open from 12.00pm before a 2.10pm opening bounce.