Gungahlin United has created a brand new and exciting E-Magazine for the Canberra region that’s intended to keep people interested in the sport during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leanne Shea Langdown, who volunteers for the club in corporate affairs, came up with the notion of starting the magazine and is a part of the Gungahlin United comms area alongside head of content for social media and NPLW goalkeeper Kailey Tonini. They have joined forces to get the E-Magazine up and running for the local community.
The magazine will be free to the public and Gungahlin will publish their first edition on Saturday (April 11).
This initiative comes after football freelance writer and commentator Russ Gibbs created an online FIFA competition as the region continues to seek ways to keep the football community engaged with no football action.
Leanne has vast experience with online lifestyle blogging and is the editor-in-chief of her own cheerleading E-Magazine called Cheer Kids Magazine.
The Gungahlin online magazine will include stories about football around Canberra. One of these will highlight M&M Podcasts, which presents the Canberra Football Show hosted by Canberra locals Matt Nicoletti and Michael Djordjieski, while also placing a major focus on their own club-based content with GUFC players at all levels.
Creating a magazine was something that Leanne has always wanted to do and she finally found the opportunity to exercise her idea.
“I was thinking what could we do for our community right now when everybody is very uncertain with the future of our sport at the grassroots level around Australia,” Leanne said.
“We have a large membership at Gungahlin and we wondered what could we give the community that’s for free, so the idea for the magazine was a no brainer. I find it easy to work in that area and that went hand in hand with someone as talented as Kailey is in graphic design.
“What we hope to accomplish is giving children, players and teams of all ages the idea that football can extend past the pitch.”
It’s vital to keep the game fresh in supporters’ minds and Leanne explained that there needs to be a sense of involvement to push the sport through this difficult phase.
“It is more important than ever that every single person feels connected and whether that be in the sport or any general involvement,” Leanne said.
“If the sport isn’t being played, what happens to the social engagement between players of all ages? How are they feeling engaged and connected? The reason why we need to keep people connected in the sport is so that the game can survive what’s going on right now.”
There’s hope that what the football community is doing with its initiatives will rub off on other ACT sports.
“If there’s one thing I like to do as a person it’s having a collaborative approach in everything that I do,” Leanne said. “While we’re creating the Gungahlin United football magazine, our club is very much about the community here and the broader one in Canberra. I’d love to see what we’ve created inspiring other sports to do something similar.”
Gungahlin president Neil Harlock says the magazine will benefit the nation’s capital.
“I’m all for building the profile of not just Gungahlin United Football Club, but also the Canberra community and it’s a time where we need to be proactive,” Neil said. “I am happy to back any ideas and show our support for opportunities to build our profile and Canberra’s.
“We can’t be seen as a club that just runs our football competitions on a weekend and that is all. After a turbulent couple of years, we had to find ways to build our profile and bring in local members from the community. It can only help the 1600 players at the club and their families to be involved in a club that wants to build its community spirit.”