PROMISING young female footballers across the region are icing up to make a splash.
Greater Western Victoria Rebels girls are leading an ice bucket challenge to join the fight against motor-neurone disease. The Rebels do so ahead of what has become an AFL tradition with the Big Freeze on the Queen's Birthday public holiday, an event sparked by AFL great Neale Daniher who is battling the disease he calls The Beast.
Big Freeze 6, while unable to be a slide into an icy pool at the MCG, will feature a player from all 18 AFL clubs performing their own ice challenge to support the cause in a television special on Monday. This will include Redan export and triple Hawthorn premiership player Isaac Smith.
Rebels graduate Liam Picken, a Western Bulldogs' premiership player, took the slide last year dressed as Heath Ledger's The Joker.
The Rebels are calling on each other to ice themselves whether it be by bucket, wheelie bin or a dive into a dam or pool. They are collating their efforts for a team video at the weekend. Their efforts have reach $600 of their $1000 target within two days.
Rebels coach Rhys Cahir said his players had been checking in with each other during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The NAB League girls' under-18s only played a couple of matches before their season was suspended indefinitely.
"We've been doing a few things, like a joke of the day, and thought we'd do something more meaningful at home," Mr Cahir said. "The girls came up with the idea to dunk themselves and to fundraise as well...We have fun and a laugh and keep going so it's more than just footy."
We have fun and a laugh and keep going so it's more than just footy.Rhy Cahir, Greater Western Victoria Rebels girls' coach
Player education and community awareness has long been a key element of the Rebels' program, which draws in football talent from across Ballarat, the Wimmera, the south-west from Camperdown to Portland.
MND is the name given to a group of diseases in which the nerve cells controlling muscles that enable us to move, speak, swallow and breathe fail to work normally.
At least two Australians are diagnosed with MND daily and every day at least two Australians die of MND.
Meanwhile, things are about to get very icy for Ballarat policeman and councillor Des Hudson on Friday afternoon. Leading Senior Constable Hudson, in full police uniform, will take 10 icy buckets of water doused on him by sponsors to support Phoenix College's Love Your Sister cancer research fundraiser.
This is not the first time Leading Senior Constable Hudson has felt the ice bucket challenge. He was part of a City of Ballarat splash in 2014.
He decided, if he were to do it again, to up the ante.
Representatives from Ballarat police, Blue Light, family, politicians, Ballarat and District Suicide Prevention Network and City of Ballarat mayor Ben Taylor have queued up to give Leading Senior Constable a frosting. He capped the list at 10 with each sponsor donating $100 for the honour.
This time Leading Senior Constable Hudson will wear a baseball cap to keep the ice from his eyes.
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