World flavour for 2017 Charity Cup
LAST year it was superheroes descending on the Tweed, but this year the fifth annual Charity Cup will bring world cup flavour to the region.
Kicking off in Cabarita today, the event originally known as the Rally for Tom Porter has become a must on the Tweed sporting calendar since its origins in 2013..
Porter lost the ability to use his legs due to a spinal tumour, with his mates organising the event to raise funds for him. It has since grown into a sports and charity extravaganza, with some 250 touch football players taking part in the competition at Les Burger Field today.
Organiser Mike Ashburn said he hoped the cup would generate enough funds to crack a major milestone.
"We've raised about $65,000 over the last four years and this year we're hoping to raise $35,000 so we can crack the $100,000 mark,” Ashburn said.
Featuring a new theme every year, Ashburn said it was his partner Jacinta Platt, who came up with 2017's world cup theme.
"One of my mates, Darren Eastgate, designs the jerseys every year. My partner said to me, 'Why don't you do world cup teams?' That was perfect as this year is a world cup year, so we put the idea to him and he got it done,” he said.
Ashburn said this year's cup would be played in honour of his partner's mother Christine Murray, who lost her battle with cancer in December after a 10-year fight.
"She always helped out every year and had always done so much for us. All the guys loved her,” he said.
While organisers are humble about the day's impact, Platt said their commitment to assisting those in need was strong.
"The day benefits so many people. Last year they handed out over $27,000 to 14 families,” she said.
"Families such as a local family with a two-year-old daughter requiring a liver transplant, a 19 year old boy with a brain tumour, and they also handed a check to a young female who had just lost her partner to suicide finding out the day she gave birth to her son.”
The day gets under way at 8.30am and includes a jumping castle, face painting and raffles, with a function to be held at Cabarita Bowls Club on Saturday night.
The winning team receives medals awarded in honour of former Tweed Coast Raider Justin Cullen, who tragically passed away in an accident in the Maldives in 2015.