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