Nine current NSW Blues and Breakers will join several past players to participate in the second Chappell Foundation ‘Sports Stars Sleepout’ at the SCG raising important funds for the plight of homeless youth.
Five Blues and four Breakers will brave the cold on Monday night after eight current and former NSW players including Breakers captain Alyssa Healy, her husband Mitchell Starc and former team mate NSW great Lisa Sthalekar participated last year
Sthalekar, a former Breakers captain and Cricket NSW Life Member, was a driving force in bringing the event to life.
Blues opening batsmen Nick Larkin and Daniel Hughes, who enjoyed career best Shield seasons last season, and recent Australian One-Day International representative Lauren Cheatle, will be among the stars to sleep out this year.
Nineteen current and former athletes participated in the inaugural event last year raising nearly $57,000. In 2019, at least 23 have committed to sleeping out.
Cricket NSW Life Member, former Australian leg-spinner and popular commentator Kerry O’Keeffe will participate along with fellow former Test and Blues tweaker Stuart MacGill.
Fast bowlers Mickey Edwards, Harry Conway and rookie quick Chad Sammut are the other current Blues along with their bowling coach former New Zealand International Andre Adams.
Emerging teenage talent Jack Edwards and Nick Bertus had committed to participate, but due to playing commitments in PNG are unable, despite significant fundraising efforts in the lead-up.
Cheatle will join her Breakers team mates Naomi Stalenberg, off-spinner Lauren Smith and allrounder Lisa Griffith.
“I think it’s really awesome that the two squads can come together over this,” said Cheatle.
The Chappell Foundation was initiated by former Australian captain and great batsman Greg Chappell in 2017. It aims to assist organisations on the frontline of youth homelessness in Australia.
As he did last year, former Blues allrounder Trevor Chappell will again demonstrate support of his brother’s foundation by sleeping out.
It was estimated in the 2016 Census that over 43,000 people aged under 24 are homeless in Australia.
Larkin said his involvement in the lead-up to the event had already opened his eyes to the problem of homelessness.
“It’s definitely alerted me to a problem that you’ve always noticed, but it’s probably been to the back of your mind,” said Larkin.
“Because the problem is (now) front of mind, I feel like I’m seeing more of the issue.
“If you walk past Central Station (in Sydney), you think “there is maybe more of a problem than I’d given credit to in the past.”
WATCH: Larkin & Hughes speak about the Sports Stars Sleepout
Cheatle said her involvement began after speaking to Blues allrounder Moises Henriques, who participated last year.
“Moises raised it with one of us and we were more than happy ... to help out in any way that we can with this issue,” said Cheatle.
“It’s put everything into perspective a little bit. We get quite sheltered as athletes (and then maybe only) focus on what’s happening inside our own little bubbles.”
“All the girls and I are really humbled that we can be a part of an event that’s helping raise awareness and funds for an existing issue around Australia.
“As athletes we get quite competitive with each other, we’re trying to raise the most amount of money.”
Larkin explained that raising awareness around the issue was just as important as the money donated.
“Raising that awareness and then hopefully from there people find it in the goodness of their hearts to either donate or do something positive about the problem,” Larkin said.
To donate: https://www.sportsstarssleepout.com/.