Sport superstars take aim at flood

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MELBOURNE/BRISBANE - International superstars Roger Federer and Lance Armstrong are among many high-profile sportspeople contributing to Queensland flood relief campaigns.

Seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong, who has just arrived in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under, is in talks with Australian sprinting star Robbie McEwen to organise the race’s peloton to do “something special”, The Age reports.

“In this day and age news travels fast. I was just in Hawaii, the images travel the world over so people see it, more importantly than hear about it, they see it,” Armstrong said.

He added: “So when you see people telling their stories, much like a cancer survivor would share their story, you’re affected by that even if you’ve never been to Australia, never been to Queensland.”

Federer, preparing for a tilt at his fifth Australian Open, used Facebook to join local icon Lleyton Hewitt in calling for tennis to hold a major fundraising event.

He said: “The floods here in Australia are devastating! I am on my way to practice now and am going to speak with Tennis Australia to see if we perhaps can organize something on Sunday to help raise some funds for the people of Queensland who have been affected… stay tuned as it would be great if the sport of tennis can help out right before the Australian Open begins.”

Last night, tennis veterans entertaining at the World Tennis Challenge, including John McEnroe and Pat Cash, literally gave the shirts off their backs. Four players ended a doubles match last night in little more than their underwear after pledging their clothing to a fundraising auction to be held on the WTC website.

The tournament had already donated revenue from the last 500 tickets sold for the event to the official flood relief campaign.

Most sports are organizing fundraising efforts, but some have been personally affected more than others.

Samantha Stosur is donating 100 dollars for every ace she serves in an Australian event this summer.

Andy Roddick has followed suit, and has already donated 4,200 dollars.

The men’s and women’s governing bodies the ATP and WTA will donate 10 dollars for every ace served by its players at the combined ATP World Tour/WTA tournaments played in Australia this month.

2011 Brisbane quarter-finalist Matthew Ebden also promised to donate 100 dollars for every ace he serves at the Medibank International in Sydney this week as well as the Australian Open next week.

The World Tennis Challenge website will be auctioning shirts and other items belonging to veteran stars such as John McEnroe, Pat Cash, Henri Leconte, Ivan Lendl and Ivan Ljubicic.

American 2011 Hopman Cup mixed-doubles winner, Bethanie Mattek-Sands has pledged a percentage of her winnings at this week’s Hobart event to help flood victims.

All of England’s Twenty20 cricketers playing Australia at Adelaide Oval last night donated some of their match wages to the flood relief appeal.

Cricket Australia is dedicating revenue to the appeal from game five of the upcoming one-day series between Australia and England, in Brisbane on January 30.

Kevin Pietersen is proposing an auction of tickets to the Australia-England one-day international in Perth on February 6. He will also give up his memorabilia from England’s victorious Ashes Test series.

There is a possibility Shane Warne and former England fast bowler Darren Gough will help stage a Twenty20 ‘legends’ game to raise funds for the flood relief appeal, with a rock concert to follow. A similar match was played at the MCG to aid the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami appeal.

Locally, the City of Moorabbin Cricket Association (CMCA) is staging Twenty20 match as a fundraiser at Highett West Cricket Club on Sunday 16th of January.

Former AFL footballer John Rombotis will be convening a silent auction of donated items.

On January 6, Racing Queensland announced a 1.55 million dollar package to assist trainers, jockeys and stable staff affected by floods.

The AFL and its 18 clubs have contributed 500,000 dollars to the Queensland Government’s flood relief appeal.

The NRL pledged 100,000 dollars to support the rebuilding of grass-roots Rugby League clubs in flood-affected regions.

Today, the NRL announced that former Brisbane Broncos Chief Executive Bruno Cullen would co-ordinate further fund-raising and assistance packages to flood victims in both Queensland and NSW.

The Brisbane Broncos donated 25,000 dollars during the national flood relief telethon at the weekend.

Players from several clubs are reported to be keen to assist with recovery efforts in Queensland.

Socceroo Tim Cahill has set up an eBay auction of a generous prize, including travel to an Everton home game from anywhere in the world.

Sunday’s A-League clash between the Brisbane Roar and Wellington will be moved from flooded Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The new time and place for the game has not yet been announced.

In northern Queensland, sporting clubs in the Redlands area have joined forces to put on a golf charity day on January 28, which will feature raffles and auctions.

All teams from the Women’s National Basketball League will hold bucket collections during the course of the next two rounds of play

The teams of the National Basketball League are also finalising plans for a range of fundraising activities, which will occur in the next four rounds.

The Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre and Townsville Crocodiles are donating a dollar each for each game by game ticket sold for the Crocs match against the Melbourne Tigers on Friday night. (ANI)

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