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Firefighters take on police in annual Charity Cup

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01 Jul 2015
On the front line, firefighters and police stand side-by-side with a common goal – protecting the community.

But on the footy field, all bets are off with the MFB firefighters taking on Victoria Police in the annual Charity Cup.

Now in its 13th year, the two sides will battle it out this weekend at Junction Oval in St Kilda.

South Melbourne Firefighter Stephen Greene is co-ordinating this year’s match and said he hopes for a large turnout of supporters on the day.

“With former AFL players now amongst the ranks at both agencies, it’s a good opportunity for fireys and police officers to pull on the boots in the spirit of friendly competition and to raise a bit of money for a worthy cause,” he said.

Last year MFB was defeated by the police, who finished three goals ahead. This year the firefighters are looking to reclaim the cup.

Over the past decade the event has raised more than $80,000 for various charities including Reclink, The Light House Foundation, Royal Children’s Hospital, St Mary’s House of Welcome and the EJ Whitten Foundation. This year the event will support beyondblue.

beyondblue is working to reduce the impact of anxiety, depression and suicide in the community by raising awareness and understanding, empowering people to seek help, and supporting people to have good mental health and recover if they are unwell.

beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC expressed his thanks to the MFB and Victoria Police members for supporting beyondblue through this event.

beyondblue’s messages are particularly relevant for firefighters, police, ambos and SES workers who may be more at risk of experiencing depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder than the general population. Long working hours, shift work, and repeated exposure to trauma and violence are all risk factors for developing mental health conditions,” he said.

beyondblue is prioritising a project targeting first responders - in just a handful of new priority projects for the coming two years. We know that these officers, whether serving or retired, face unique issues in their careers and this can impact on their mental health.

“We will start new research in the coming months, before developing a program that can be adopted around Australia. Therefore the support of these police and firefighters through this match is much appreciated.

“I remind all first responders to seek support early when they are struggling, so they can maintain good mental health and continue to serve the public through their lifesaving work. Trained mental health professionals are available 24/7 at beyondblue’s Support Service on 1300 22 4636, or via www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3pm to midnight) or email responses.”

Other family activities on the day include a sausage sizzle, jumping castle and an MFB and Victoria Police vehicle display.

Entry is via gold coin donation and raffles will be held on the day.

EVENT DETAILS

WHAT: Firefighters vs Police Charity Cup
WHEN: Sunday July 5
TIME: Game begins 1pm
ADDRESS: Junction Oval, St Kilda

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