Riverina Lions will open their new season with a touching tribute to former player Sarah Lloyd at McPherson Oval on Saturday.
‘Little Lloydy’, as she was affectionately known at the Lions, tragically lost her life in August last year while a passenger in a motor vehicle accident.
The Lions will wear specially designed jumpers against ADFA on Saturday to remember Lloyd.
She played 33 games for the Lions, most of them proudly in her Dad’s number 17 jumper, after coming up through the ranks of the Riverina Cubs Youth girls AFL program.
Lloyd debuted at just 15 in the Lions’ senior team.
It soon became a family affair for the Lloyd family as Lloyd’s father Daniel went on to coach the Lions in 2015 and 2016. Her mother, Tracey, was always close by loaning her nursing skills to injured players and served on the club’s committee.
Saturday will be Sarah Lloyd Memorial Day and club stalwart Julie McLean, who organised the day, said it was an important event for everyone at the Lions.
“As we come to grips with the loss of our number 17 we just want to remember the good times,” McLean said.
“We were lucky enough to watch her grow not only as a player but a person over her years at the club.”
McLean said Lloyd will never be forgotten at the club.
“Little Lloydy gained a pride of big sisters as soon as she arrived at the lion’s den and we were lucky enough to gain a cheeky and determined little lion cub with an infectious smile and giggle," she said.
“Little Lloydy was taken from us in her prime. We remember and miss her willingness to give anything a go, her determination, her cheeky laugh and her massive smile.”
McLean said the Memorial Day is not only about remembering their former teammate but also for the club to continue to support the Lloyd and Meriton families, along with her friends, through their tough times.
The tribute jumpers, sponsored by Whiteline Designs and AVIS Riverina, will be worn during the match and auctioned off at the Palm and Pawn Hotel on Saturday night with funds going to three beneficiaries close to the club’s heart.
One of our beneficiaries is the newly formed Sarah Lloyd Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be awarded annually on Lloyd’s birthday to a female tradesperson, helping with the costs associated with tools and expenses related to their trade.
The Sarah Lloyd Memorial Match
Riverina v ADFA
10am, Saturday April 28