p MEMBERSof the Free Beaches Australia group pictured in an earlier cricket match at Belongil Beach.
p MEMBERSof the Free Beaches Australia group pictured in an earlier cricket match at Belongil Beach.

Blast for Anzac Day nude cricket match

By PETER CATON

LOCAL RSL bosses are outraged by an Australia-wide nudist group's attempt at an Anzac Day celebration ? a nude cricket match scheduled for next Tuesday on the Tweed's southern doorstep.

The group, called Free Beaches Australia, has members set to shed their clothes and converge on Byron Bay's Belongil Beach next week for the game.

A group spokeswoman from the Sunshine Coast said she hoped hundreds of Tweed residents would join southbound Queenslanders in grabbing their bats, balls and little else to celebrate the "peace and freedom which ANZAC soldiers fought for".

However, the naked romp has been labelled inappropriate for one of the most solemn days on the Australian national calender by local RSL sub-branch presidents.

Tweed Heads/Coolangatta RSL sub-branch president Joe Russell said the idea of a nude cricket game being held on Anzac Day was disrespectful.

"I'm not in a position to stop it going ahead," he said.

"But I would have thought they could have found another day other than Anzac Day for something like this."

Murwillumbah RSL sub-branch president Derek Sims was slightly better humoured about the cricket game.

However, Mr Sims called on the nudists to at least respect the morning of Anzac Day.

"You wouldn't get me doing it, certainly not unless I was wearing pads," he said.

Brisbane-based nudist church minister, Pastor Bob Wright, a committee member of Free Beaches Australia, said the match kept in with the ANZAC spirit.

Pastor Wright was involved in controversial, abandoned plans for a nude music festival at Cabarita Beach last year.

"New Zealand and Australian soldiers would often organise an impromptu game of cricket on the beaches to relieve the stresses of war," he said.

"Today we enjoy the peace and freedom that the ANZAC soldiers were fighting for. Lest we forget!"

The match will be held at North Belongil Beach ? a legal nude beach ? on Tuesday from 10am.

All participants are asked to make a donation to Australian Sun Cancer Research.



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