It’s been a rough few weeks for rural Australia, to be very blunt.
The bushfires ravaging the country have caught worldwide attention, with donations and help coming from far and wide.
Elton John, Chris Hemsworth, Gordon Ramsay, Russell Crowe and Leonardo Di Caprio are just some of the celebrities who have financially pledged for the cause.
In the cricket, various Big Bash League players including Matt Renshaw, Chris Lynn and Glenn Maxwell are donating for every wicket or six they hit in the tournament.
Brighton and Australian national team goalkeeper Maty Ryan is also making an effort from the other side of the world, as are various Australian-born players in the NBA including Ben Simmons, Dante Exum and Matthew Dellavedova.
The list of those who have donated is very extensive and it’ll only get longer, which is fantastic, especially from those overseas.
One of the worst affected areas is in rural NSW, in and around the coastal area of Illawarra, a region of NSW that holds over 300,000 people and the metropolitan city of Wollongong.
In response to the horrific events that have dominated the headlines, Football NSW have joined forces with the NRL and NBL in hosting a round of golf featuring players from various codes.
Despite being a much smaller city than the likes of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Wollongong is a very competitive sporting city. The Illawarra Hawks compete in the NBL and the St. George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL.
NPL NSW side Wollongong Wolves, who recently won the National Championship against Queensland-based side Lions FC, will also partake in the charity golf game.
Illawarra Hawks guard LaMelo Ball, who has taken the league by storm in the few games he’s played, also donated a substantial amount at a time when the fires were still in their initial stages.
It will be an 18-hole game with every hole available to be sponsored for $1000.
It has been truly amazing to see the support received from across the globe in response to these bushfires. As a country, we always help our fellow man or woman when they’re in a sticky situation. It’s in our nature.
But sometimes, we need a helping hand and we’ve received a lot of those.
The fight is far from over, with blazes raging across the country at the writing of this article.
But with fundraisers such as this, combined with the selfless donations from millions, we’ll be on the road back to normalcy before we know it.
The full press release from NPLNSW that came out last Wednesday can be found below:
The Wollongong Wolves, St George Ilawarra Dragons and Illawarra Hawks have joined forces to announce a first of its kind Illawarra combined codes bushfire appeal golf day.
Players and coaches from the Dragons, Hawks and Wolves will convene on Monday, February 3 at Wollongong Golf Club to help raise funds for the NSW Rural Fire Service, Salvation Army Disaster Relief Appeal and Australian Wildlife Rescue (WIRES) following the recent bushfires that have devastated Australian communities.
Entry for a four-man Ambrose team is $2000 and includes an afternoon of golf, cart hire, food and beverage package as well as a post-presentation event and the chance to mingle with all your favourite players across the three different codes that represent the Illawarra.
Each of the 18 holes are also available to be sponsored at a cost of $1000.
Spots for the day are extremely limited, with all queries and purchases available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor hailed the bushfire appeal golf day as a unique and significant opportunity to raise funds for several special causes.
“The codes combined bushfire appeal golf day is one of several causes the Dragons have chosen to back in response to the horrific fires that have overwhelmed the country,” McGregor said.
“The chance to see your favourite players across Illawarra’s three main codes on the one day is an opportunity that cannot be missed, all in name of a very good cause.”
Wolves coach and former Socceroo Luke Wilkshire echoed his fellow coach’s sentiments regarding the recent bushfire devastation.
“As far as sport in the Illawarra region goes, it is great that we can support each other and work collectively,” Wilkshire said.
“To showcase a strong, positive message by bringing our different sporting identities together as one for a great cause is very important.”
Hawks coach Matt Flinn gave a personal affirmation to the bushfire appeal golf day.
“This is an exciting event that all three sporting clubs are collaborating on,” Flinn said.
“I’ve been personally affected, with family members caught up in the bushfires, as have many of our members and supporters within the south coast region, so this is a way in which we can help unite our community and raise funds for a terrific cause.”