For Club, Community and Coast

22 April 2022

A game that recognises the ANZAC Spirit characteristics of courage and mateship is back for 2022, with the Gold Coast SUNS and Brisbane Lions doing battle on Sunday 24 April at Metricon Stadium.


SUNS Chief Executive Mark Evans says the club wants to show its support and raise awareness for a cause that resonates with its community. 

“For this year’s ANZAC Day eve clash, our players will wear a specially designed commemorative guernsey to acknowledge our partnership with the RSL and raise awareness for the ANZAC Appeal,” Mark says. 

“We’ll be auctioning the guernseys worn by the players after the game and donating all proceeds to this year’s ANZAC Appeal as a gesture of gratitude and support to those who have served.”   

Gold Coast Suns AFL ANZAC Day

The match honours the contribution made by current and ex-serving Defence members.  

RSL Queensland CEO Robert Skoda says a pre-match ceremony will be held, including a recitation of The Ode. 

“We’re encouraging all Australians to once again light up the dawn with their ANZAC spirit and reflect on what it means to embody these characteristics – both on 25 April and every day of the year,” Rob says. 

“Courage, endurance, good humour, ingenuity, and mateship are qualities that live on in our veteran community and through team sports like AFL. It’s our honour to support this match and help the community reflect in a unique and meaningful way.”  


For AFL Women’s (AFLW) player and current-serving ADF member Jade Pregelj, the match has personal significance. 

The Gold Coast SUNS defender says joining the Army full-time after serving as a reservist ticked many boxes for her, and this year marks her eighth serving.  

AFLW Gold Coast Suns player Jade Pregelj

“Self-development, adventure, testing and challenging limits of physical and mental toughness were some of the things that appealed to me,” the AFLW player says.  

“And the life-long mates I’ve been able to make – much like a footy team. 

“To me, Defence, AFL clubs and the RSL resemble large families,” Jade says.  

“The camaraderie that members of each group share is undeniable, and as someone who has feet in both camps – AFL and Defence – I feel grateful for the support and connection. The work the RSL does is priceless.” 

With “feet in both camps”, Jade sees common traits in both her football and Defence careers.  

AFLW Gold Coast Suns players

“Resilience and adaptability are two that come to mind,” she explains.  

“As a new team in the competition, in season one we had to learn fast and adapt to the competition. Working in the Army is a constant adaptation exercise.  

“And you build resilience by learning what you can achieve when given a task or set on a mission. You can accomplish things you didn't think you could a week ago, and then move onto bigger tasks. 


For Jade, mateship is at the heart of the ANZAC spirit, and she gets emotional when talking about the tight bonds she’s formed with her football and Army friends. 

“The experiences you have together in those uniforms really unite a group. When you pull on the uniform or you pull on your jumper, you know that you are part of something and that’s really special to me,” she says.  

AFLW Gold Coast Suns players

Jade is currently recovering from an ACL reconstruction and says the support of her friends and family has been getting her through the tough days. 

“It’s the spirit of not leaving your mates or your teammates behind, which is really beautiful, and I’ll be forever grateful.” 


Jade is grateful to commemorate ANZAC Day and is planning to attend the Currumbin Dawn Service with her father and catch up with current and ex-serving friends. 

AFLW Gold Coast Suns player Jade Pregelj

“ANZAC Day is relevant to all Australians – it’s part of our history and our culture. It’s a moment to reflect on the sacrifice of not just the ANZACs, but all Australian service men and women throughout Australia’s history,” she says.  


Buy tickets for the ANZAC Appeal game between the Gold Coast SUNS and the Brisbane Lions on 24 April 2022 at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. 


The ANZAC spirit lives on in us all, and on 25 April we invite you to commemorate in a way that is meaningful to you. On ANZAC Day, you can attend an RSL service, light up the dawn at home, participate online, or take the opportunity to connect with your local community.  

Plan your ANZAC Day


  • ANZACspirit
  • Courage
  • Mateship