For anyone who follows Lenny Hayes on Instagram or Twitter, you’ll instantly recognise how much value he places on family. Having recently welcomed their first child Hunter into the world, Lenny and his wife Tara are revelling in the role of new parents.
It’s a role that appears to come naturally to the pair. On the surface the Hayes family appears complete.
However, there’s another important female in Lenny’s life who vies for his constant attention. She’s a striking brunette – strong, tall and as Lenny himself puts it, “a little needy”.
Her loyalty is unwaivered and her enthusiasm for life is infectious. The female in question is Lenny’s dog, Lucy.
She is the much loved Hungarian Vizla family member of the Hayes household, and at almost three years old, Lenny jokes how at times it feels as though he has two children, instead of one.
“It’s like having another kid at times, but in saying that she’s been so good with Hunter,” Hayes said.
After 16 years in the game and revered as one of the most respected players in the competition, the Saints favourite acknowledges the importance of perspective and work-life balance. Getting outside and spending time with Lucy and his young family often allows Lenny the opportunity to take a break from the football side of his life.
“In the past, most of my time would have been focussed mainly on football commitments but since Hunter was born, he has become the priority for us now. Although the first three months were a blur,” Hayes laughs.
As part of the AFL Players’ Association partnership with VicHealth, Lenny is encouraging more Victorians to get moving and embrace an active lifestyle by participating in the TeamUp 20 Day Challenge.
“I love taking Lucy for a walk or going to the dog beach in the local area; it’s great to get out for a bit and have some time out.
“It’s important we all take even 10 minutes out of our day to do something simple, like go for a walk, or just something to keep you moving. Everyone’s lifestyles means we’re all naturally busy, which can be hard to find time to stay active.”
“That’s why I’m teaming up with Lucy, to make sure I take time out of my busy schedule to take her for regular walks and bring her along when we go out for breakfast as a family.”
All Victorians are invited to join the TeamUp 20 Day Challenge by downloading TeamUp, getting active each day, and sharing images of their participation on social media with the hashtag #20DC.
The TeamUp 20 Day Challenge begins on April 13, with participants encouraged to ‘get moving’ in any way they see fit.
For dog lovers alike, Lenny’s top three dog friendly areas in Melbourne are:
1. Elsternwick Dog Park
2. Brighton Dog Beach
3. Dendy Park
To stay up to date on the TeamUp 20 Day Challenge, make sure you:
Download the TeamUp app at teamup.com.au
Like the TeamUp Victoria Facebook page
Follow #20DC on all social media