Former Socceroo and TV commentator Craig Foster is pushing for local sports people to volunteer during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo Marc Stapelberg.
Former Socceroo and TV commentator Craig Foster is pushing for local sports people to volunteer during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo Marc Stapelberg.

Former Socceroo directs his passion to a new set of goals

A PASSIONATE Craig Foster is calling on the Far North Coast sporting community to volunteer their time to charity and others in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Socceroo and Lismore product is part of the Play for Lives project, which aims to get people off the sidelines and into volunteer positions left vacant during the pandemic.

Most sports across Australia are currently on hold with all club activity suspended.

Foster said Ballina and Lismore were critical areas where people can help by packing food boxes to driving cancer patients to appointments.

Cancer Council NSW is the first Australian charity to officially partner with Play for Lives.

It has an urgent need for volunteers under the age of 60 to support cancer patients across the state while the restrictions around COVID-19 are in place.

“Ballina and Lismore has an urgent need for transport drivers and I’m making a specific call for our sporting people to help our region,” Foster said.

“A high proportion of the Ballina population are elderly people and we’ve inherited everything they’ve built and have a responsibility to help them.

“Sport can often be overlooked in what value we bring to our communities and now is the time for us to step up.

“This is one of the biggest challenges Australia has faced and it’s up to sporting clubs around the country to help by giving up some of their time.

“I’m playing over-35s (in Sydney) and we already have 60 volunteers from my club who have committed to the five to six hours a week we would have used training and playing.”

Play for Lives has been launched with the digital platform group Be Collective which Foster has partnered with.

The online program allows for both sport people and the local charities to link and form a relationship.

Football Far North Coast general manager Steve Mackney has thrown his support behind the initiative.

They have a chance to make a big contribution with more than 7000 registered players this season.

“This initiative is yet another example of the passion and energy that Craig selflessly gives of himself to support the community,” Mackney said.

“Craig has an innate ability to lead and I am sure that many people will be motivated to make a contribution to this cause.”

People can register at www.playforlives.org/ while donations to Cancer Council NSW can be made at www.cancercouncil.com.au/ways-to-donate/.


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