Ravensworth Rhino and Hunter Hawkettes crowned champions, whilst $80,000 raised for Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
It was sweet victory for Glencore’s Ravensworth Rhinos who were crowned men’s champions second year running and history was made with the Hunter Hawkettes running home to be crown women’s champions at the 2017 A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Competition at Singleton earlier this month on October 7.
Following some serious training sessions and a determination to retain their title from last year, the Rhinos convincingly defeated Bulga Coal’s Saxonvale Raiders 22-nil in the men’s decider. Whilst the Hunter Hawkettes were victorious over the Valley Vixens 19 to 10 in the inaugural women’s in mining series. Although, undeniably the biggest winner on the day was the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, with a record breaking $80,000.
Organised by the Singleton Volunteer Support Group, 350 mining employees made up the 18 teams competing in the rugby league 10’s competition at Pirtek Park, cheered on by over 1800 spectators.
Support Group volunteer and organiser Danny Eather said he is in awe of the community and business backing the competition.
‘This year’s event exceeded expectations in terms of spectators and the amount of money raised. We are just blown away by the result,’ Mr Eather said.
‘Our team of committed volunteers have worked hard to establish this event to be a much highly anticipated event on the local sporting calendar. We were thrilled to have teams from as far as Mudgee, Boggabri and the Gunnedah Basin join in this year’s charity competition.’
More than 70 local businesses backed teams to help their fundraising targets with major sponsorship secured from A-Plus Contracting, Mine Wealth & Wellbeing, Slater & Gordon, Jennings Print, Minetek Betts Bower Haulage and Hunter Isuzu Utes.
Coal Services Mines Rescue, Group 21 Rugby League Referees Association, Singleton Rugby League Club and the Singleton Rotary and Lions clubs all provided in-kind support and assistance on the day.
‘The Upper Hunter community, and the mining sector, are well aware of vital work that the Rescue Helicopter provides to our region and are very supportive of fundraising event like this to ensure that the Service is available free-of-charge all year round.’ Mr Eather said.
The Rescue Helicopter was established in 1975 as a weekend beach patrol and through community support and fundraising it became a critical service that operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week from four bases in Belmont, Broadmeadow, Tamworth and Lismore. Now it delivers aeromedical search, rescue and inter-hospital transfers to care for communities from north of the Hawkesbury River, up to the Queensland border. Today, the service is approaching 1,500 missions per year, with a Doctor and Paramedic on board every flight. The Service is jointly funded by the NSW Government, corporate partnerships and community support ensuring nobody has to pay to be assisted by the service.