16 July 2020
SCG supports Sports Stars Sleepout
A group of Australia’s sports stars will brave the conditions at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Monday August 3, to raise funds for homeless youth.
There is a crisis of homelessness out there and it has hit our most vulnerable.
To support them, 30 elite sports people, including Olympics swimming gold medallist Bronte Campbell, Test stars Mitchell Starc and Alyssa Healy, Paralympics great Louise Sauvage, multi-talented former swim champion Lisa Forrest and ex-Test batsman and sports commentator Michael Slater, have so far volunteered for the SCG Sports Stars Sleepout, organised by The Chappell Foundation.
Before the pandemic it was estimated 43,000 young Australians were homeless, many forced to sleep every night as these athletes will for one.
Alongside former Test captain and TCF co-founder Greg Chappell, they will have to find a way to fight off the cold and damp with only a sleeping bag, a few sheets of cardboard and a sheet of plastic if it rains.
Elite representatives of more than a dozen sports, from cricket and swimming to judo and weightlifting will gather at the SCG to raise funds to help young Australians sleeping rough.
“More sports stars have signed up for this Sleepout than last year,” said TCF chairman Darshak Mehta. “In the circumstances, this is a magnificent effort.
“The Sleepout is our Foundation’s first public fundraiser since the COVID-19 lockdown and it is fair to say we approached the challenge with some trepidation.
“Since mid-March, our frontline charity partners have been struggling with the consequences of the pandemic and we have responded by distributing almost $700,000 to them,” he said.
“But TCF needs fresh funding to continue supporting them and now we’re looking to the sport-loving public and those who care about homelessness to support the Sleepout by sponsoring our stars.
“TCF has distributed more than $2 million over the past three years to charities at the coalface. Every dollar we raise is put to work to make a difference.”
Greg Chappell said the Foundation hoped to exceed the 2019 Sleepout’s $46,700 net fundraising.
“Given the economic effects of the COVID crisis, this is an ambitious target,” he said.
“But with more than 43,000 people aged under 25 homeless on any night of the year, we all have to strive harder to overcome this blight on our nation.
“More often than not these youngsters are victims of awful circumstance and I think if every Australian could show a little more empathy with them we can make real inroads into the problem.
“Even in our short history, we at The Chappell Foundation have seen first-hand dozens of young lives helped back onto a good path by the charities we fund.”
The frontline charities TCF supports include BackTrack Youth Works, Ecumenical Coffee Brigade, Stepping Stone House, WAYS Youth and Family, Taldumande Youth Service and the Burdekin Association.
These sports stars have so far agreed to join Greg and Trevor Chappell at the Sleepout on the SCG on August 3:
• Cricket: Mitchell Starc, Alyssa Healy, Alex Blackwell, Lisa Sthalekar, Michael Slater, Steve O’Keefe, Stuart MacGill, Matthew Nicholson, Phil Emery, Daniel Hughes, Greg Mail, Jon Moss, Lisa Griffith, Russel Arnold
• Swimming: Bronte Campbell, Lisa Forrest
• Rugby League: Benny Elias, Jimmy Smith
• Paralympics: Louise Sauvage
• Hockey: Allison Yeoland
• Rugby: Andrew Mehrtens
• Race Walking: Beki Smith
• Water Polo: Mel Rippon
• Table Tennis: Michelle Bromley
• Weightlifting: Najat Khoury
• Handball: Russell Garnett
• Judo: Warren Rosser
• Cycling: Luke Harvey-Palmer