Australia's Sevens teams will hope to generate thousands of dollars in donations to Australia's bushfire relief appeal in an initiative announced Saturday.
Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle announced on Saturday that for each try scored by Australia's teams in the 2020 Sydney 7s, $500 would be donated
There is expected to be a number of other fundraising efforts announced in the coming weeks, with Rugby Australia working with Super Rugby franchises to coordinate these efforts.
“Our annual HSBC Sydney 7s tournament is being played on the first weekend in February at Bankwest Stadium, and today we are launching a series of fundraising initiatives by pledging $500 for each try scored by our men’s and women’s teams at the tournament for the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal.
“We are also working with our counterparts both here in Australia and internationally to establish other fundraising opportunities with the Super Rugby season set to kick off at the end of this month.
“It is in difficult times like this that rugby’s global community can use it’s enormous strength and reach to help make a difference for people in need. We are looking at any means possible that we can lend some support to those communities who need it most."
Wallabies winger Reece Hodge has already joined a number of high-profile athletes in trying to raise money for the bushfire relief effort.
Hodge is running a lucky draw competition for his followers with every $50 donation to the bushfire appeal putting people in with a chance to win a signed 2019 Rugby World Cup jersey and pair of match-worn boots.
Hey Guys, I’ve decided to run a bit of a lucky draw competition to try and raise some much needed funds for the victims of the bushfires across the East Coast of Australia. Every donation of $50 counts as 1 entry in the draw to win a Wallabies World Cup 2019 jersey signed by the entire squad as well as a pair of my signed match worn boots. Just put your Instagram account handle in the donation message and I’ll contact the winner via direct message on Tuesday 7th January. Even if you don’t like rugby, please give generously to help the Red Cross support Aussies in need! I’ll kick it off by donating $500. Link in my bio
In a statement on Saturday morning, Castle paid tribute to the victims of the disaster and emergency services workers fighting the fires raging in NSW and Victoria.
"What Australia is experiencing right now is both extremely sad and terrifying. There has been an extraordinary human toll from these fires that have left communities in ruins across millions of acres of land," she said in a statement.
"Firstly, we pay the ultimate tribute to our brave firefighters and emergency services personnel that are battling these conditions around the clock, day after day, sacrificing their own safety for the health and safety of others in our community.
"They are the real heroes behind this effort, and as a rugby community we want to do all we can to help. We also offer our deepest sympathy to those that have lost their homes, livelihoods and loved ones through this awful tragedy.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this bushfire tragedy and urge people in affected areas to listen to the advice of emergency services and stay safe.”
The 2020 Sydney 7s kicks off on Saturday February 1 at Bankwest Stadium.