All is in readiness for the fifth installment of the A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day at Pirtek Park, Singleton this Saturday, October 13.
What started off as group of local miners getting together to have a comp with five teams has grown to four pools of four teams drawn from the wider Hunter Valley mining districts, plus a two-team female competition, all in support of a good cause.
Hosted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service’s Singleton Support Group, the event seeks to raise funds for this invaluable community organisation.
The growth of the event can be measured in the annual increase in sponsorship money, according to Community Liaison Officer for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, Danny Eather.
“First year we raised $20,000, the next year $40,000 and so on,” Danny said. “Last year we raised $145,000 the largest amount in the history of the service nationwide. So it’s been huge.
“It’s a reflection of the Support Group committee’s tenacity and the community itself.”
From little things, big things grow, and so it has been for the charity league day.
“Last year we had a team from Mudgee, and we’ve had two from Gunnedah for the last three years, so it’s bigger than just Singleton now,” Danny said.
“It’s a wider Hunter area thing and it reflects the mining industry.
“Its grass roots stuff with workers putting teams together and we have a spot, and then the guys buy into it.
“They love picking their jerseys and colours, and the banter is always there.
“You can tell we’re in the season of sledging, but its always great fun.”
Last year the competition had two ladies Women in Mining teams, and they’ll be back again this year.
“All the ladies are from within the industry, on site, in different roles – but they love their football and they compete in a best-of-three series.”
Danny reckons they got the jump on the NRL which introduced their women’s comp this year after Singleton led the way.
“Even if you don’t like football its still a great community day,” Danny said
“We’ve got rides and activities for the kids. It’s a great way to top off the school holidays.”
Gates at Pirtek Park, Singleton open 8am, with the first game kicking off at 8.50am.
Entry to the event is $5 per adult and $2 per child with free children’s activities including jumping castles, slides, face painting, hands on community displays.
Plenty of food will be available along with full bar facilities.
Full event program details available atwww.charityrugbyleagueday.com.au