A host of cricket stars are set to sleep rough on Monday 3 August, trading their beds for the turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground to help raise funds for homeless youth.
With only a sleeping bag and piece of carboard, 32 athletes from a range of sports will take part in the third annual Sports Stars Sleepout hosted by the Chappell Foundation.
ACA members Mitchell Starc, Alyssa Healy, Alex Blackwell, Lisa Sthalekar, Michael Slater, Steve O’Keefe, Stuart MacGill, Matthew Nicholson, Phil Emery, Daniel Hughes, Greg Mail, Jon Moss, Lisa Griffith, Russel Arnold have all so far agreed to sleep it tough alongside organisers Greg and Trevor Chappell.
The Chappell Foundation raises funds to donate to those working on the frontline to end youth homelessness. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were estimated to be over 43,000 homeless youth in Australia.
Trevor Chappell says the participation of so many cricketers is an indication that so many people think the homeless situation is not acceptable in a country like Australia.
“It’s not an easy thing to do but they are prepared to put in and make that sacrifice on their own part.”
“It's nothing in comparison to what the people that are really sleeping tough have to put up with, which is not just one night, but regularly.”
This year, The Chappell Foundation is hoping to surpass last year’s net fundraising total of $46,700. Each athlete has a page were supporters can pledge their support and donations.
The event ties in with Homelessness Week 2020 (2-8 August), an initiative to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the action needed to achieve enduring solutions.
One third of homeless people in Australia are under 18 years old.
Young people are more likely to become homeless because they often experience difficulties securing long-term accommodation and are particularly affected by poverty and the shortage of affordable housing in Australia. When faced with the need to leave their family home, young people often have little option but to end up on the streets [Australian Human Rights Commission].
“Sport is a something for younger people more so than older people and we were very lucky with our family situation, that we got an opportunity to play lots of sports, particularly cricket. But some of these young people, who have it tough, don’t really get that opportunity,” Chappell said.
“It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s a commitment and show of solidarity from the athletes to put themselves through a little bit of hardship compared to what a normal night would be for them.”