The Gold Coast SUNS today announced global sportswear company New Balance will be donating 1,000 new boots to the youth of Mackay.
The generous Mackay donation is part of an overall donation of 5,000 boots made by New Balance on becoming the SUNS official boot partner in August.
The announcement was made as Mackay local AFLW player Lauren Bella and SUNS officials visited Mackay.
Speaking from Mackay, Bella said the SUNS were proud to be giving back to the region and specifically her hometown.
“We have an official partnership with the Mackay Regional Council and we are proud to join New Balance in giving out hundreds of new boots to deserving local kids as part of that,” she said.
“We play an annual AFLW game in Mackay and we love coming here. We want the Mackay locals to really get behind us.”
SUNS CEO Mark Evans said New Balance will donate 5,000 pairs of boots to indigenous youths and to youths in need, in the SUNS’ regions of the Gold Coast, Darwin/NT and North Queensland (including Mackay).
“We are proud that thousands of pairs of New Balance boots will be donated to help develop and encourage more footballers in their careers and promoting healthy and active lifestyles including in Mackay,” he said.
“As part of our partnership with New Balance, the boots will be distributed within the SUNS’ regions to youths who ordinarily might not have access to new football boots.”
Mayor Greg Williamson said the donation would make a massive difference to families who were struggling financially.
“For young people, the opportunity to play a sport means learning new skills, making friends and excelling at something,” he said.
“Playing a sport can change your life. That’s an opportunity that every young person in our region should have, but unfortunately when a family lands on hard times, budgets don’t stretch to things like football boots.
“This initiative gives that opportunity back to young people in need and Mackay Regional Council would like to congratulate the SUNS and New Balance on this tremendous initiative.”
It’s an exciting time for AFL in Queensland with community football finals being played across the state.
Mackay enter their final series this weekend and, to celebrate, all local Clubs will be able to nominate up to five players each to receive a new pair of boots.
AFL Mackay will work directly with the clubs and schools to facilitate this over the next two weeks.