Big Freeze Newcastle

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Newcastle City’s former President and long-time stalwart Daniel Gardner is the co-chair of The Big Freeze Newcastle, a charity event being staged at Newcastle No.1 Sportsground and at Wests New Lambton to raise funds in a bid to cure Motor Neuron Disease (MND), a disease Neale Daniher has called “The Beast”.

The event follows on from the Neale Daniher-inspired version of the Big Freeze, staged last Monday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the traditional Melbourne-Collingwood Long Weekend fixture.

The Big Freeze consists of celebrities sliding down a form of slippery dip into ice cold water. Gardner explained that Big Freeze will take place at 2.45pm this Saturday, in between the Womens game between the only two unbeaten teams in the GE Womens Competition, Newcastle City and Nelson Bay (which commences at 1.00pm), and the Black Diamond Cup fixture between City & Nelson Bay, which starts at 3.30pm. Gardner thanked the Black Diamond AFL for arranging the day’s playing schedule around The Big Freeze.

Gardner advised that some of the celebrities involved in taking the plunge are:

*Newcastle City’s very own Nick Gill

*Newcastle Jets girls Tara Andrews & Claire Coelho

*Hunter Academy of Sport  CEO Brett O’Farrell

*Media personality Michael Cain

*Brothers Jim & Tim McKenzie

*Businesswoman Leah Jay, mother of Elliott Jay. Ms Jay has just returned to Australia after climbing Mt Everest.

*Former Newcastle and Australian fast bowler Anthony Stuart, and;

*Businessman and fitness expert John Pirlo, the owner of Genesis Gym.

Gardner explained that there is no known cure for MND, and that his club wanted to be involved with raising funds for such a worthy cause. He explained that Newcastle City will have kid zones at No.1 inclusive of jumping castles on the day, raffles being run all day and buckets for patrons to make donations. The Newcastle Novas are playing a Friday Night fixture against Maitland at No.1 this weekend, and buckets will be going around that night as well for those who wish to donate.

All of the celebrities are trying to raise $5000.00 on the day. Donations can also be made at this website:

Gardner said that Newcastle City decided to get involved with The Big Freeze after one of their players, Elliott Jay, was afflicted by MND. Elliott was struck down with the disease and died, tragically, at just 19 years of age. Elliott’s name will be on the Cup that is being awarded for the Black Diamond Cup fixture, along with Derek Mitchell, who was also afflicted by MND. Gardner advised that Derek Mitchell was instrumental in getting involved Masters Australian Rules up and running.

Pastor Phil Camden, who is the co-chair of The Big Freeze Newcastle, has also been struck down with MND. Gardner and Pastor Camden had the privilege of going to Melbourne and meeting Neale Daniher, with the intention of “seeing what we could do to have a regional Big Freeze, on a slightly smaller scale than 90,000 people at the MCG”.

Rebecca Daniher, daughter of Neale Daniher, will be part of The Big Freeze Newcastle, representing her father. Gardner also advised that a number of  BDAFL  clubs will wear whilst white “Sock it to MND’ on Saturday whilst the umpires have also jumped on board and will be wearing MND socks and hats as part of the day.

We congratulate Daniel and his committee for all the work they have done to to help fight MND and wish Newcastle City and everyone involved in what will be a massive day at No.1 Sportsground all the very best.