Fev is fuelling AFL dreams

AFL great Brendan Fevola has a long association with the south east. 154791 Picture: ROB CAREW

For Mark Bowness and his DreamFuel army, it’s all about dreaming big amidst what has been an extremely difficult time around the world.

With Covid-19 and it’s devastating impact reaching every corner of the globe, Mark is looking to change the way people think about their futures beyond the pandemic, and to start turning dreams into reality.

Mark has launched a concept called DreamFuelling – with a quest of helping one million people turn their dreams into reality – whether it be sport, travelling, education, business, music or even fixing a garden.

It’s a concept that Mark said was very much personal to him, and one that is driving him each and every day.

“The concept is for all ages – with the way the world is at the moment, it’s easy to focus on the negatives, the economic impacts on employment, all of that stuff,” he said.

“It’s my belief that if we focused on the dreams that we have, and we take action on those dreams, it’ll change the situation that the world is in.

“I’ve been through my own personal experience, where I hit a rock-bottom moment with my marriage ending and I could have gone one way or the other, but I focused on my own dream which was launching a business that became a TV show in three countries, so it comes from that personal experience.

“The idea, DreamFuelling, is a website where people can come and share what their dream is, and we can send out the dreams each week, and see how we can make them a reality.”

And the first DreamFuellers came to three lucky teenagers from the south east recently, with aspiring AFL and AFLW footballers Dantae Saouma from Lynbrook, and Zac Rob and Taya Rob from Beaconsfield lucky enough to pick the brains of AFL champion, media personality and south east favourite son Brendan Fevola about what it takes to make it to the highest level, and to take some inspiration from his story of perseverance in making it to the AFL.

The 623-goal ex-Carlton and Brisbane full-forward – who came through Beaconsfield and the Dandenong Stingrays – spoke to the aspiring AFL footballers about the importance of training, work ethic, the sacrifices required, diet, education, as well as the general dedication that comes with being a professional athlete.

Mark said the three children stood out amongst an incredibly overwhelming amount of applications, and praised Brendan’s openness about his experiences with the football loving teenagers.

“We saw the drive that they have, and we wanted to try and make that happen,” he said.

“We were inundated with applications to see Brendan – we had a call with the children and had conversations to see who would be a good fit.

“They were overwhelmed, and they turned up on the day with some solid questions – what was really exciting from Brendan’s perspective, and the AFL perspective, is that you can look at sporting heroes and what they do but to go in depth and ask about daily regimes, food, what it was like balancing education and football.

“It was a great one-on-one experience they got to have with him – it made their own dream possible, he was totally relatable.

“It’s easy to look up to these heroes and think they have it different from what we have – seeing a normal human being like everyone else chasing a dream, that’s the essence of DreamFuelling.

“That was really inspiring to see.”

With the chance to chat in-depth with three talented teenagers hoping to one day play in the AFL, Brendan said DreamFuelling is an incredible opportunity to give back to people desperate to fulfil their dreams.

“I know what it’s like to have a dream, to have dreams become reality and to have dreams smashed,” he said.

“One of the things I love about this project is that it is inspiring people – at this moment in time, who are maybe focusing on fear, to focus on making things happen for their lives and as a result this will positively impact our communities, Australia and the world around us.

“As soon as I heard about DreamFuelling I wanted to offer my time to fuel the dreams of young aspiring AFL players, enabling them to ask the questions that they really want to ask that will help to turn their dreams into reality.

“I am so pleased that the young individuals chosen are from the part of Australia that I grew up in, an area that has given me so much. I hope that during our conversation I gave as much as I could back.”

For more information, head to dreamfuelling.com