National child protection organisation Bravehearts hopes to support the Mackay community with new services from proceeds created by an All-Stars T20 cricket bash featuring former international stars at Harrup Park.
The Bulls Masters will take on the Baggy Blues in the inaugural clash between the two sides for the Healy-Waugh trophy on Friday, June 17 with funds raised going towards education and counselling services to support children and their families affected by child sexual assault.
The Bulls Masters will be captained by Ian Healy and co-coached by Darren Lehmann and Allan Border, with a host of former internationals, including paceman Ryan Harris, big hitting all-rounder Andrew Symonds, current Test opening batsman Joe Burns and Aussie T20 star Chris Lynn.
The newly formed Baggy Blues, will be captained by Mark Waugh and coached by Steve Rixon, with a line-up boasting the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath, Brad Haddin and speedster Pat Cummins.
Ian Healy (c), Andrew Symonds, Jimmy Maher, Stuart Law, Chris Lynn, Nathan Reardon, Andy Bichel, Ryan Harris, Adam Dale, Joe Burns, Michael Kasprowicz, Wendell Sailor. Coaches: Darren Lehmann, Allan Border
Mark Waugh (c), Adam Gilchrist, Brad Haddin, Gavin Robertson, Steven O’Keefe, Simon Cook, Stuart Clark, Brett Lee, Shane Lee, Ben Rohrer, Pat Cummins, Glenn McGrath. Coaches: Steve Rixon, Phil Emery
The game will fall between the first two games of this year’s rugby league State Of Origin series.
To add to the State of Origin feel, Wendell Sailor will play for the Bulls Masters and a mystery guest will line up for the Baggy Blues.
Council is supporting the event through its Invest Mackay Events Attraction Program.
Mayor Greg Williamson said the fact the game was a major fundraiser for Bravehearts helped get the sponsorship agreement over the line.
“Bravehearts’ key purpose is to educate, empower and protect Australian children from sexual assault and the organisation is doing some wonderful work in this area,’’ Cr Williamson said.
“Proceeds from this cricket match will go towards Bravehearts’ plans to set up a Mackay office, which would be a terrific outcome for our region,’’ he said.
Bravehearts CEO Angelo Venardos said the organisation had been eager to expand the provision of its services to Mackay and surrounding regions for some time.
"Unfornately, we have been unable to do so due to a lack of necessary funds,’’ Mr Venardos said.
“We are very fortunate the Bulls Masters have chosen Bravehearts to be the beneficiary of the Festival 20/20 of Cricket event in Mackay and we are grateful also for the support from Mackay Regional Council ,’’ he said.
“Through the event, Bravehearts hopes to raise more than $250,000. It is our intention to use the funds to set up an office in Mackay and support that community with a holistic approach to protecting kids.
“What the Bulls Masters do throughout the State of Queensland is simply amazing, providing opportunities for country kids, coaching kids, raising money for charities, visiting hospitals, the list goes on.
“This is another example of that, so whatever the final figure is that we raise it will go a long way in helping Bravehearts and for that we are extremely grateful to The Bulls Masters organisation.”
Bulls Masters Chairman Ian Healy said Bravehearts was the chosen charity partner for this inaugural T20 All-Stars event.
“Bulls Masters has a passion for raising funds for various charities, promoting cricket and giving kids in Qld every opportunity and as a result we actively invest in regional areas, so Bravehearts’ plans for a Mackay office made them an ideal choice,’’ he said.
“The game at Harrup Park will have a ‘Big Bash’ feel to it and we’re hoping the calibre of players in both teams will help attract a crowd of more than 6000.”
“As part of the All-Star 20/20 Festival, a gala dinner will be held at the MECC on the Thursday evening before the big game and this will also help raise funds for Bravehearts.”