Rugby Australia has today announced its annual HSBC Sydney 7s tournament in February will be used as a major platform to aid the relief and recovery appeal amid the nation’s ongoing bushfire crisis.
Headlining a range of initiatives to be announced in the lead up to the event, the Qantas Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams with the support of the Australian Rugby Foundation have pledged to donate $500 for every try they score at the tournament, to be held over the weekend of February 1-2 at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle said: “What Australia is experiencing right now is both extremely sad and terrifying. There has been an extraordinary human toll from these fires that have left communities in ruins across millions of acres of land.
“Firstly, we pay the ultimate tribute to our brave firefighters and emergency services personnel that are battling these conditions around the clock, day after day, sacrificing their own safety for the health and safety of others in our community. They are the real heroes behind this effort, and as a Rugby community we want to do all we can to help. We also offer our deepest sympathy to those that have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones through this awful tragedy.
“Our annual HSBC Sydney 7s tournament is being played on the first weekend in February at Bankwest Stadium, and today we are launching a series of fundraising initiatives by pledging $500 for each try scored by our men’s and women’s teams at the tournament for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal.
“We are also working with our counterparts both here in Australia and internationally to establish other fundraising opportunities with the Super Rugby season set to kick off at the end of this month.
“It is in difficult times like this that Rugby’s global community can use it’s enormous strength and reach to help make a difference for people in need. We are looking at any means possible that we can lend some support to those communities who need it most.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this bushfire tragedy and urge people in affected areas to listen to the advice of emergency services and stay safe.”
A raft of Rugby players have already joined stars from other sporting codes in Australia and overseas to boost the fundraising effort, including Wallabies winger Reece Hodge who is auctioning off a signed Wallabies playing jersey along with his match-worn boots from the recent Rugby World Cup via his Instagram account.