It was sweet victory for Glencore’s Ravensworth Rhinos who were crowned champions in the 2016 A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Knockout Competition at Singleton on October 8.
Following some serious training sessions and vowing to avenge last year’s runners-up position, the Rhinos convincingly defeated Peabody Energy’s Wambo Wolves 18-nil in the decider.
An estimated crowd of 1600 attended the family friendly day which raised about $60,000 for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
Organised by the Singleton Volunteer Support Group, 300 mining employees made up the 16 teams competing in the rugby league 10’s competition at Pirtek Park. This year’s event divided teams across four pools with each playing a minimum of two games.
Support Group volunteer and organiser Danny Eather said he is in awe of the community and business backing the competition generated.
‘This year’s event far exceeded last year’s in terms of spectators and the amount of money raised,’ Mr Eather said.
‘It’s certainly a welcomed fixture on the local sporting calendar and there’s been interest from some interstate teams for next year’s competition.’
More than 70 local businesses backed teams to help their fundraising targets with major sponsorship secured from A-Plus Contracting, Pirtek, IEEP Engineered Products, Jennings Print, Workpac, Betts Bowers Haulage and Hunter Valley Hydraulink
Coal Services Mines Rescue (First Aid), Group 21 Rugby League Referees Association, Singleton Rugby League Football Club and the local Rotary and Lions clubs provided in-kind support and assistance on the day.
Every year the Rescue Helicopter undertakes more than 1,000 missions including transporting people from accident scenes, transferring critically ill patients between hospitals and undertaking search and rescue operations.
‘Our local community, and in particular the mining sector, are well aware the Rescue Helicopter provides a vital service to our region,’ Mr Eather said.
‘The Singleton Volunteer Support Group has worked hard for the past 19 years to help raise awareness and funds to make sure it stays in the air.’