Gold Coast SUNS defender Sam Collins has been inducted as an official patron of GC SUNS Major Charity Partner RizeUp, ahead of Saturday’s annual Round to RizeUp.
The SUNS will host the third Round to RizeUp on Saturday afternoon when it takes on Melbourne at Heritage Bank Stadium in a round that sees the GC SUNS and RizeUp Australia join forces to raise funds and awareness for families displaced by domestic violence.
Collins, who has been a strong ambassador for RizeUp over five seasons with the club, says he’s honoured to become an official patron alongside figures such as Rugby League great Petero Civoniceva, Mamamia founder Mia Freedman, TV personality Shelley Craft and Australian icon Cameron Daddo.
“It is a great personal honour to become a RizeUp patron,” Collins said.
“RizeUp does a tremendous job of supporting families fleeing the trauma of domestic and family violence, ensuring they have the ability to restart their lives in a safe and prosperous environment.
“It is an incredible organisation and I am honoured to continue playing a role in assisting RizeUp support those families in need.”
RizeUp CEO and founder Nicolle Edwards says it’s an honour to welcome Collins as an official patron ahead of the 2023 Round to RizeUp.
"We are thrilled to welcome Sam Collins from the GC SUNS as our newest patron here at RizeUp. Sam's dedication to his community and his passion for making a positive impact align perfectly with our own mission, and we couldn't think of a better person to represent our organisation,” Edwards said.
“Having Sam join us as our patron is a game-changer. His leadership on and off the field is truly remarkable, and we believe he will help us elevate the impact we can have on the community in a big way."
"We can't express how excited we are to have Sam as part of the RizeUp family. His willingness to lend his voice and support to our cause is a testament to the kind of person he is, and we look forward to working together to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in need.”
The match is scheduled annually in May to coincide with Domestic and Family Violence and Prevention Month and is the key fundraising initiative between the GC SUNS and RizeUp, whose partnership has extended beyond nine years.
More than $30,000 was raised from the 2021 and 2022 editions, with the SUNS playing group kick-starting the 2023 campaign with a $5,000 donation.
SUNS members and fans will have the opportunity to donate to RizeUp at Heritage Bank Stadium on match day by visiting one of the friendly RizeUp volunteers situated around the precinct.
The SUNS will also don a special Round to RizeUp guernsey for the first time as a tinge of RizeUp’s blue is added to the club’s New Balance guernseys along with the Major Charity Partner’s logo to go with blue RizeUp branded socks. The match-worn and player listed guernseys will be available for auction following Saturday’s match with all proceeds to be donated to RizeUp.