Singleton's Rugby Park played host to a highly successful charity fundraiser with 160 local coal mining employees fighting it out for top honours in a rugby league knockout competition.
Funds raised from the day will be donated to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
A highlight of the day particularly for the younger people was the lunchtime arrival of the helicopter right onto the middle of the park.
Warm conditions made for hard work for the players who may not have pulled on their football boots for sometime.
Organiser Simon Clifford said he was extremely pleased with the turnout and community support.
Words - Singleton Argus, October 11th
As many as 160 coal mining employees are getting ready to swap their hi-vis uniforms for footy gear as part of the inaugural Hunter Valley Mining Rugby League Charity Knockout Competition.
The event will be held at Singleton Rugby Park on Saturday October 11 in support of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
The round-robin style knockout competition will see teams from the open cut mines of Glendell, Ravensworth, Mt Owen, Anvil Hill and Liddell competing for the perpetual charity shield.
Event organiser and miner Simon Clifford said that this friendly rugby league tournament among colleagues is much more.
"As miners we know the risk of working within the industry and many of us know someone that has required the assistance of the rescue helicopter as a result of an accident and therefore we have set our fund-raising goal of $25,000, so I encourage the entire community to come along and cheer on the teams for this worthy cause," Mr Clifford said.
There will be plenty of entertainment off the field for children and families, including jumping castles, amusement rides and face painting, along with a special appearance of the rescue helicopter at midday.
"This special appearance will provide an opportunity for all supporters of the rescue helicopter, young and old, to get up close and have a look at the iconic red and yellow helicopter that we see flying over Singleton all too often."
Danny Eather of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service - Singleton Support Group believes that having the rescue helicopter fly in acknowledges the ongoing commitment and support of the Singleton community has had towards the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service during the past 39 years.
"We have wanted to have the helicopter to fly into a charity event for quite a while now, so it is exciting that we can have it landing at Rugby Park, as opposed to a medical emergency down the road at the hospital. So I encourage as many people to come and have a look and speak to the crew" Mr Eather said.
Entry is a gold coin donation. Gates open at 8.30am with the first game kicking off at 9.30am with full canteen and bar facilities available throughout the day.
Words - Maitland Mercury, September 26th 2014
THE Glendell Gladiators are one of six teams in training mode ahead of the inaugural Open Cut Invitational Rugby League Competition.
Sides consisting of Hunter Valley open cut mine employees from different pits will go head-to-head at Singleton in the name of charity.
Event organiser Simon Clifford said plans were coming along nicely for the round robin 10’s knockout format.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is the benefactor – and Mr Clifford is hoping to raise $25,000 for the cause.
After a friend’s life was saved by the service, Mr Clifford decided to organise an event to support it.
“If it wasn’t for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service he probably wouldn’t be here,” he told the Hunter Valley News.
“Some people need to get medical assistance urgently and that’s the quickest way to get from A to B.”
Raffle tickets can be bought for $5 each or $20 for 10.
The 25 raffle winners, who must be 18 years and older, can watch the competition from the upstairs VIP lounge and enjoy a fully-catered lunch for two.
Catch all the action at Singleton Rugby Union Complex on Saturday, October 11.
Teams to challenge the Glendell Gladiators are the Anvil Hill Bulls, Liddell Lions, Ravensworth Rams, Open Cut All Stars and the Mt Owen Magpies.
Words - Hunter Valley News, August 27, 2014
Teams from six Hunter Valley mines will be pitted against each other on the rugby league field to raise money for charity.
Two 15-man squads from each site will compete in a 10-a-side round robin rugby league competition at Rugby Park, Singleton in October.
The inaugural Open Cut Invitational Charity Rugby League Day has six teams with the Ravensworth North Rams, Mount Owen Magpies, Anvil Hill Bulls, Glendell Gladiators, Bulga Bulldogs and Liddell Lions to do battle. Co-ordinator Simon Clifford said he hoped for a crowd of more than 1000 people on October 11.
“We’ve got four months of fund-raising ahead of us,” he said.
“The majority will come on the day, we’ll have raffles and an auction as well as doubles tickets and supporter jerseys sold at the gate.”
The main prize will be a signed NSW jersey from tonight’s second State of Origin clash.
It is not just the on-field contest that the crews are preparing for, with a competition ladder for money raised for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to be updated fortnightly until July 5.
There is plenty on the line for businesses, with the company that donates the most money to have its logo printed on the front of all playing jerseys on the day as well as 50 per cent of supporter jerseys.
The businesses that finish second and third will have their logos printed on 35 and 15 per cent of supporter jerseys respectively.
Organisers are hoping to raise more than $25,000 for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
Words - Maitland Mercury, June 17 2014