NSW Blues and Breakers, past and present, will take part in the third annual Chappell Foundation Sports Stars Sleepout at the SCG this Monday to raise funds and awareness for youth homelessness.
Eleven former and current NSW Blues and Breakers players, including Alyssa Healy and her husband Mitchell Starc, will sleep overnight on the SCG with only a sleeping bag, a few sheets of cardboard and a sheet of plastic if it rains.
An experience more than 43,000 people aged under 25 unfortunately endure on any night of the year in Australia.
Breakers allrounder Lisa Griffith, and recently retired Blues spinner Steve O’Keefe, join Healy, Starc and a host of great names of NSW cricket for the Sleep Out.
Alex Blackwell, Trevor Chappell, Phil Emery, Stuart MacGill, Greg Mail, Matthew Nicholson and Lisa Sthalekar are among 30 participants taking part.
Elite representatives of more than a dozen sports, from cricket and swimming to judo and cycling will gather at the SCG on Monday, including Olympic swimmer Bronte Campbell.
Former Sri Lankan Test batsman Russel Arnold and Victorian allrounder Jon Moss will also sleep rough on the SCG.
Sthalekar is a Chappell Foundation Director while Breakers captain Alyssa Healy is a proud Ambassador for the charity.
Recently appointed Cricket NSW Head of Cricket, and former Blues opening batsman, Greg Mail said that given the current coronavirus pandemic, it’s perhaps more important than ever to try and help out.
“It’s a cause that’s important at all times and I think the current situation has made it more difficult for families and young people across Australia, and it just magnifies the problems,” said Mail.
Chappell Foundation Chairman Darshak Mehta OAM has credited Lisa Sthalekar and co-founder Greg Chappell for their tireless efforts organising the event in the current circumstances.
“The Sleepout is our Foundation’s first public fundraiser since the COVID-19 lockdown and it is fair to say we approached the challenge with some trepidation,” Mr Mehta said.
Mail believed the participation of current players was further evidence of the fantastic job all Cricket NSW players do for many causes.
“I think that the advantages (people) like Mitch and Alyssa have got is that they’ve got profile.
“They’ve got social media networks; they can reach a lot of people and I think they do a fantastic job of leveraging that to the good of not just this cause but a lot of good causes.”
Greg Mail when playing for the NSW Blues in 2008.
As one of the many former players participating, Mail said it is really great to see past and present players get behind community initiatives.
“As players, we get gifted so much from the game and such rewarding experiences out of it.
“It’s really humbling to see how much work some of the players and past players put into charitable causes, just giving back to the community, it’s great.”
More than $63,000 had been raised by Friday afternoon.
To donate visit www.sportsstarssleepout.com