Brisbane Lions and HBA Launch Schools and Community Partnership

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The Brisbane Lions Football Club and leading health insurer HBA have announced the launch of a four-year partnership that will boost the fundraising efforts of local charities and community groups, as well as encourage school students to keep healthy and active through AFL-based programs and exercise.

Our partnership with the Brisbane Lions is about supporting the Queensland community and encouraging the next generation to start a healthier lifestyle today.

The Brisbane Lions Football Club and leading health insurance fund HBA have announced the launch of a four-year partnership that will boost the fundraising efforts of local charities and community groups, as well as encourage school students to keep healthy and active through AFL-based programs and exercise.

Lions Chief Executive Michael Bowers and HBA's General Manager of Corporate Development Mark Engel joined Lions Co-Captain Jonathan Brown and students from St Paul's College and the Anglican Church Grammar School to launch two new initiatives - the HBA Schools Assist Program and the HBA Lions Alliance.

The HBA Schools Assist Program will get youth from 110 Queensland primary and secondary schools more actively involved in AFL programs and clinics which include sporting equipment donations and school ticketing allocations to Brisbane Lions matches at the Gabba.

The program gives many Queensland children the opportunity of a lifetime - to be coached by and have a kick with some of their favourite Lions AFL stars.

HBA's Corporate Development General Manager Mark Engel highlighted the positive contribution HBA's partnership will make in encouraging Queensland children to actively participate in sport.

"The program is all about creating opportunities for kids to increase their activity levels, develop new skills, boost their confidence and, above all else, have fun playing football," said Mr Engel.

"This is an exciting initiative that will potentially reach more than 15,000 school children each year. Through HBA's Schools Assist Program, schools can apply for the equipment they need to conduct fun and healthy football programs for their students," he said.

Brisbane Lions Co-Captain Jonathan Brown praised the club and HBA on their deal to work together to give Queensland youth a taste of Aussie Rules football.

"This program is a great fit for both the Lions and HBA as both organisations share the same goal of promoting healthy lifestyles," said Brown. "The HBA Schools Assist Program will give our boys a chance to visit local schools where we can inspire the kids to be really healthy and promote the benefits of the best sport going around."

Charitable and community groups will benefit through a second HBA - Brisbane Lions initiative. The HBA Lions Alliance will support the fundraising activities of Queensland's charities through player appearances, signed memorabilia donations, match-day tickets and Lions supporter packs.

"The HBA Lions Alliance will provide charities with the resources they need to support their programs within the broader Queensland community. This means everyone can benefit from our association with the Brisbane Lions," Engel said. "Importantly, HBA entering into the partnership with the Brisbane Lions is about engaging with the entire community through practical ways that will have lasting benefits."

Brisbane Lions CEO Michael Bowers explained that through the HBA Lions Alliance, both organisations were able to step up and support the broader community.

"Each year the Club literally receives hundreds of requests from community groups for assistance for very worthwhile charitable causes," Mr Bowers said. "With the support of the HBA Lions Alliance, we now have the opportunity to lend a hand to many more organisations than we could have handled before and in a way that will better impact on their fundraising or community works."

HBA is Australia's second largest non-government health insurer supporting the health care needs of more than one million Australians.

"Our partnership with the Brisbane Lions is about supporting the Queensland community and encouraging the next generation to start a healthier lifestyle today." Mr Engel said. "Today marks the start of HBA broadening its presence into Queensland and making private health insurance more accessible through its affordable range of health cover options."

Schools interested in the HBA Schools Assist Program are encouraged to contact the Brisbane Lions on Tel: (07) 3335 1777 to register for an AFL program and sporting equipment.

Community groups and charities can apply for support from the HBA Lions Alliance by contacting the Brisbane Lions on Tel: (07) 3335 1777.

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