This weekend marks a special occasion on the SUNS calendar with the third annual Round to RizeUp to be held this Saturday at Heritage Bank Stadium.
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 its Major Charity Partner RizeUp, whose partnership has extended beyond nine years.
RizeUp Australia aims to drive awareness of domestic and family violence within society by generating life-changing, practical support for the families affected, giving them hope and empowerment to move on to a life free from violence.
It’s the third edition of the Round to RizeUp with $30,000 having been raised during the 2021 and 2022 matches. The SUNS playing group have kick-started the 2023 campaign with a $5,000 donation.
Senior Coach Stuart Dew says it’s an important organisation for the club to continue to support.
“It’s an important partnership and we want to continue to raise awareness,” Dew said.
“We’ve made that small donation on behalf of the playing group, and we’ll look to continue to raise funds and support that foundation.
“A lot of our players have helped in setting up those safe houses and they’re more than willing to help and understand its impact. It’s really important our players are involved in things like that.”
The SUNS will 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 here following Saturday’s match with all proceeds to be donated to RizeUp.
Captain Jarrod Witts mirrored his coach’s sentiments on the importance of the annual round.
“It’s a special game for our footy club,” Witts said.
“We had a guest speaker come into the club this week and tell her story, which was extremely powerful and resonated throughout the group.
“Whatever we can do to help – I know the playing group is making a donation – it’s an important organisation that is doing great things in our community.”
Defender Sam Collins, who was this week welcomed as an official RizeUp patron for his dedication and support of the organisation over many years, says he will continue to play a role in raising awareness around family and domestic violence.
“In terms of social issues in general, we (as athletes) can be big promoters of what’s happening in society and domestic and family violence is unfortunately one of those,” Collins said.
“It takes a lot of courage to call someone out on that, but it’s a change that needs to happen in society and one that athletes can definitely play a role in.”
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.
First bounce at Heritage Bank Stadium is at 4.35pm with a top-of-the-table VFL clash against Casey Demons as the curtain raiser against from 12.05pm. Tickets are available through Ticketek.