AFLW Bulldog and Western Bulldogs Community Foundation Ambassador Lauren Spark has been named as one of four finalists for the 2020 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award.

Since arriving at the Kennel in 2016, Spark has been heavily involved in the WBCF, and was one of its inaugural ambassadors.

Her volunteer work has seen her engage with over 1500 women via the WBCF Daughters of The West (DOTW) program, while various football skills session she has facilitated help promote female participation in sport and break down gendered stereotypes.

While juggling her teaching job, playing for the AFLW Bulldogs, being a WBCF and DOTW ambassador, Spark also devotes her time to the CrossCoders; an initiative she co-founded in 2015 which allows female athletes the opportunity to become professional in Australian sport.

The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award is presented annually to an AFL or AFLW player who has best demonstrated the values of the late former Melbourne Football Club President and player Jim Stynes, in their commitment to the community, helping others make a difference, and the way they play and represent the game on-field.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the award continues to honour the legacy that Jim Stynes left throughout the community.
“Our game delivers us some of our country’s greatest role models and the finalists of the 2020 Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award showcases the impact the AFL can have in our community through a wide range of initiatives and causes,” Mr McLachlan said.

“It is wonderful to acknowledge these four outstanding players and learn of their stories and celebrate their contribution to the community away from the football field.”

Carlton’s Tayla Harris, Richmond’s Bachar Houli, and Port Adelaide’s Justin Westhoff are the other three finalists, with the overall winner to be announced as part of the 2020 AFL Brownlow Medal coverage this Sunday, October 18.

Proudly supported by Telstra, the AFL and the Jim Stynes Foundation, the winner will receive $40,000 and the runners-up will each receive $10,000 to be donated to the charity or community program of their choice.