Benji Marshall and brothers Johnny and Tim Mannah are among the NRL stars aiming to raise awareness of the fact that half of all Australian men will develop cancer by the age of 85, when Cancer Council’s Call To Arms kicks off this weekend.
In its second year, the Call to Arms Round of the Telstra Premiership (Round 13, June 3-6) will see NRL clubs unite in the fight against cancer in men by wearing something yellow, raising funds and encouraging fans to get involved.
“I think everyone knows of a person in their life who has battled cancer,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said.
“Just last week former Cowboys player and father of three Sam Faust lost his battle with leukaemia at just 26 years old.
“It’s a strong reminder of why the Call to Arms Round is such an important opportunity for Rugby League players and fans to make a difference by raising awareness and funds for the fight against cancer in men.”
Following the success of their involvement in 2010, the Cronulla Sharks will headline this year’s round once again when they turn out in a yellow and black Call To Arms jersey this Friday night for their clash against the Brisbane Broncos at Toyota Stadium.
Call To Arms ambassador and cancer survivor Johnny Mannah, who made a return to the field in 2010, says he is proud to be involved with Call To Arms.
“A lot of people don’t realise that one in two Australian men will be diagnosed with cancer by age 85,” Mannah said.
It came as a shock to me and I think men need to be aware that anyone can get cancer.”
“That’s why I’m encouraging sporting clubs around the country to join the Sharks and the NRL by holding a Call To Arms match, because when it comes to fighting cancer in men, it’s definitely game on.”
Fellow Call To Arms ambassadors, Parramatta Eels and NSW forward Tim Mannah and Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall, will also lead their side’s Call To Arms campaigns.
Cancer Council is an official charity partner of Rugby League’s One Community and Cancer Council spokesperson Natalie Bazina says she hopes that the NRL leading the charge for Call To Arms in 2011 inspires sporting clubs across the nation to get involved.
“We want players from teams of all codes and levels to pick a game during their season to hold a Call To Arms match, wear something yellow and raise funds to fight cancer in men,” Ms Bazina said.
“Even if you’re not part of a club, there are still ways to join the fight, including sponsoring a team or making a donation.”
Last year more than 1,600 clubs across the nation held a Call To Arms match to raise over $500,000. In 2011, Cancer Council hopes to inspire 2,000 clubs to raise $700,000 for the fight against cancer in men.
Funds raised through Call To Arms will help prevent and detect cancers in men, find new treatments, as well as support men in need by funding Cancer Council’s important cancer research, prevention and support programs.
To register your club or for more information on how to show your support visit www.calltoarms.com.au or call 1300 65 65 85.
NRL Club activity during the Call to Arms Round (Round 13, 3-6 June):
• The Cronulla Sharks will wear special edition yellow and black Call To Arms jerseys and yellow armbands for their match against the Broncos on Friday night at Toyota Stadium. The Brisbane Broncos will also wear yellow armbands for the match.
On match day, supporters can purchase try cards (with funds going to Call To Arms) and have the chance to win signed jerseys donated by the Sharks and Broncos at half-time.
Sharks fans can also make donations to their team’s Call To Arms campaign via links on their website and at donation boxes around the club.
• The Parramatta Eels and St George Illawarra players will wear yellow armbands in a show of support in their Friday night match at Parramatta Stadium.
Supporters will be able to purchase try cards on match day (with funds raised donated to Call To Arms), and have the chance to win a prize donated by the Eels at half-time.
Eels fans can also get behind the cause by making donations to the club’s Call To Arms campaign through the club’s website and at donation boxes around the club.
• The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Manly Sea Eagles will both wear yellow armbands during their clash at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
Fans can support the cause by purchasing soft yellow footballs from the Bulldogs on match day (with proceeds going to Call To Arms). Bulldogs and Sea Eagles fans can also make online donations via their respective club’s website.
• The Gold Coast Titans and the Penrith Panthers will wear yellow armbands for their match at Skilled Park on Saturday, with the Titans also wearing yellow shoelaces.
Fans will be able to purchase yellow shoelaces from the Titans on match day with proceeds going to Call To Arms.
• The Sydney Roosters and the Warriors will wear yellow Call To Arms armbands for their Saturday night clash at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Fans can purchase yellow soft footballs from the Roosters on match day (with proceeds going to Call To Arms), and players will be available to sign the Call To Arms footballs for fans. Roosters fans can also make donations through the club’s website.
• The South Sydney Rabbitohs will encourage fans to get involved by showing the official Call To Arms supporter commercial on the big screen at ANZ Stadium during their match against Melbourne Storm on Sunday.
• The Melbourne Storm will also wear yellow armbands in support.
• The Canberra Raiders and North Queensland Cowboys will wear yellow Call To Arms armbands for their clash at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.
The Raiders will sell try cards on match day (proceeds will go to Call To Arms), with fans who purchase the cards also having the chance to win a signed Raiders flag at half-time. Raiders fans can also support their club’s Call To Arms match by making an online donation via the club’s website.
• The Wests Tigers and Newcastle Knights will wear yellow armbands in support of Call To Arms during their Monday Night Football match at Leichardt Oval.
Wests Tigers will sell try cards on match day with funds going to Call To Arms and supporters also getting the chance to win a prize at half-time. Fans can also support the Wests Tigers’ Call To Arms match by making a donation via the club’s website.