It was early and it was cold, however former Sharks Board member and local identity Glenn Gorick was undeterred as he kicked off his involvement in Beanies for Brain Cancer Round at PointsBet Stadium this morning.
Joined at 5am by Sharks CEO Dino Mezzatesta and a group of supporters and friends, Gorick began a walk to the SCG where he would join the ‘The Big Three’ trek - 45 trekkers walking from Sydney to Newcastle across three days, with the first official leg today from NRL HQ to the Sydney Opera House.
The Big Three Trek in support of the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF) features a number of former NRL greats, sportspeople and media personalities, walking alongside Mark Hughes as a part of a team hoping to raise $3 million and sell 175,000 beanies during this year’s Beanie for Brain Cancer Round.
Players, clubs, fans and broadcasters Channel Nine and Fox Sports were set to come together this weekend in backing the worthwhile and important cause.
To add to colour of the walk, Gorick will wear a full trail bike kit for the entire 200 kilometres.
The Sharks family have been through their own experiences with Brain Cancer in recent years, with former player Fine Kula diagnosed with the disease at age 21.
Kula bravely battled the disease, his cancer now in remission. Kula is currently back in involved with rugby league at the Sharks, working as an academy and junior representative coach.
The annual Beanie for Brain Cancer Round kicks off on Thursday night, with the walk to conclude this Friday at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, where the walkers will do a lap of the field at halftime of the Knights v Titans NRL game.
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo said the Beanie for Brain Cancer Round grows every year thanks to the support of the Rugby League community.
“Mark Hughes played rugby league with great spirit, but it has been his spirit in fighting and beating brain cancer and then setting up the Mark Hughes Foundation to help save lives that is inspiring,” Mr Abdo said.
“Every year everyone in the game gets behind this cause with passion. More than $15 million dollars has been raised over five seasons of the Beanie for Brain Cancer round.
“The sight of the thousands of supporters at games wearing the Mark Hughes Foundation beanies has become a tradition and is symbolic of everyone’s support for the fight against brain cancer,” Abdo added.
The 2022 Beanie for Brain Cancer Round was launched earlier today to coincide with the start of
To coincide with the launch, a new Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle has been confirmed, building on the existing partnership between MHF and the University of Newcastle.
The MHF has now committed $15 million over five years to establish a dedicated research team and centre, while the University of Newcastle has contributed $10 million to the project.
“This is a game changing step for brain cancer research in Australia and something we have been working towards since 2014. More progress is urgently needed to improve the outlook for brain cancer patients – who are often in the prime of their lives, like myself – and their families,” Mark Hughes said.
“We will leave no stone unturned, we must get results as the clock is ticking for so many Australians. To every single person that has supported MHF and bought a beanie over the last eight years, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are giving hope to so many, including myself.”
In Australia, Brain Cancer kills more children than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer. Supporters are being urged to help raise much needed funds by buying a beanie or donating to the Mark Hughes Foundation. More information is available at markhughesfoundation.com.au.
Beanies will be available online from all Lowes Australia stores, participating NSW/QLD/ACT IGA Australia stores or online at www.markhughesfoundation.com.au.
Photos - John Veage