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Fans flock to help launch the Lions’ season

Written by Michael Cummings
on March 22, 2018

Lion teams up with Ryman Healthcare to get the VFL season under way

The Coburg Lions and the team at Ryman Healthcare teamed up to hold a family fun day to get the footie season off to a flying start.

There was a lot on offer for guests of all ages at Coburg, including face painting for the little ones, kick-to-kick with AFL Victoria representatives for the older kids, and lawn bowls and live music from the ‘Dollar 20 Blues Band’ for the adults.

Lions General Manager Sebastian Spagnuolo said the first ever family day attracted a great turnout and he hoped it would become a regular event in the Coburg calendar.

“Our 2018 Family Day was absolutely fantastic and as a club we are very proud of our members and family of players that supported the day so well.’’

“We had around 300-350 people come through during the day which was an amazing outcome and the family day format is one that we'll build on further in future years.’’

“We'd like to thank our co-major partners Ryman Healthcare who had a fantastic presence on the day at our BBQ as well as during our presentations and we're extremely pleased to be partnered in 2018 and into the future.  We know that we're really lucky to have a tremendous partner like Ryman Healthcare that supported our family day the way that they did.’’

Ryman Healthcare Group Sales and Community Relations Manager Debbie McClure said a highlight was seeing the team’s guernseys sport a Ryman Healthcare logo for the first time.

“I loved that the club embraces community and catered for all ages and abilities, everyone was welcome. The respect and kindness shown to the fans stick out for me.  I was genuinely moved by these attributes being shown by the young men of this club, the future leaders, and it reminded me so much of our own company values.’’

“I especially enjoyed seeing the camaraderie. It felt like a big family get together. What I love about our connection is the heart of the club being such a great fit with Ryman.’’

Kids enjoyed face painting and all ages enjoyed the band playing, a roll up on the bowls green, the BBQ, coffee and photos being printed by Ryman Healthcare on the day and handed out in a special Ryman/Coburg Lions magnetic frame. Great for fridges!

Sebastian said the Lion’s preparation for the first game next month was going well.

“From an on-field perspective we aim to improve on results from last season, we have a young group that have no fear and are ready to take up the challenge to our more fancied opponents.’’

“Our first game is on Sunday April 8th against the Casey Demons (Melbourne Demons reserves) at Piranha Park, Coburg.  The game starts at 2pm and we're after a big crowd to cheer on our Lions.’’

Debbie said she was looking forward to the game.

“I for one am looking forward to attending the game on 8th April. I’ll be proudly wearing my Coburg Lions scarf and cap!’’

As well as a partner Ryman Healthcare is the club’s neighbour. Ryman is planning to build a new resort-style retirement village on a Bell St site bordering the club’s grounds.

The village will include independent living and aged care and Lions fans will get a great view of the ground from parts of the village.

The 2018 playing list were presented with their guernseys at the fun day, and the leadership group was announced; Tom Goodwin as Captain for the second consecutive year, supported by Peter McEvoy, Nathan Blair and Nick Mellington to make-up the four-man group.

To end the event, key defender Josh Iacobaccio took part in the World’s Greatest Shave, shearing off the hair he had been growing for over three years.

With pressure to cut it also coming from his father George, Iacobaccio, who heads into his fourth year as a Lion, admitted he was quite relieved it was finally happening, and saw it as an opportunity to raise some money for a good cause. His hair raised $4,000.

“I’m getting over it (the hair) a bit now; I hate it when it’s windy like today and blowing all over the place,” he said.

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