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Prahran JFC player Tommy Haydon has been recognised as the Monash University Leader of the Month for May.

Motivated by the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the community, Tommy embarked on a fundraising campaign to raise money for kids’ football fees.

Tommy, aged 9, said he thought about the families that had been impacted, and wanted to do something to help.

“I love football a lot and I wanted to help people play because people might have lost their jobs and couldn’t pay for their registration,” he said.

Tommy set himself a challenge to kick 1000 goals in ten days, named the ‘1000 Goals to Kick COVID Away So We Can Play’ project, and asked the community for donations.

Tommy’s campaign eventually raised $945 dollars, enough to allow three kids to play for Prahran JFC in 2020 who would not have otherwise been able to play.

Tommy, who is in his third year playing for Prahran JFC, said he was pleased to give other kids the opportunity to continue doing what they love.

“I love footy because it’s good to have fun playing with my friends, and we have a team song to sing, and it’s great,” he said.

Prahran JFC President Rob Lacey said the club was blown away by Tommy’s initiative.

“We were very excited to hear that he was raising money for the club. Across the community, obviously, it’s been tough times for a lot of people,” said Mr Lacey.

“At the time, [there] was a lot of negative news. It was great to get positive news and people were happy to get behind it,” he said.

Mr Lacey said the club rallied behind Tommy’s cause.

“We put it out across our communications and social media and things, and the support across the club, we’ve had people donating from all year levels,” he said. “It appealed to everybody.”

Tommy Haydon and Prahran JFC President Rob Lacey.

Mr Lacey said Tommy’s hard work was a great representation of the Monash University leadership values.

“Tommy’s leadership to think about other people, get on board, raise money, it just showed that he was thinking of others, which was a great quality for leadership.”

Tommy, who is in Year 4, said the campaign was part of his school educational research project.

“We had to help a community and I chose sport, and I had to choose cricket or footy. Footy has been hard during this pandemic, and cricket I get to play in the summer.”

Tommy said he and his teammates make an effort to display leadership both on and off the field.

“We do leadership… by passing the ball around, letting everyone have a chance to kick the ball.”

The South Metro Junior Football League and Monash University congratulate Tommy on his fundraising efforts.

If you would like to nominate someone at your club for the Monash University Leadership Award, you can do so here. Nominees must be under 18 years of age and be currently involved with an SMJFL club or the league.