Tuesday, 18 September 2012 8:08 AM
It was an extraordinary day at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday, as football showed once again what a valuable role it can play by helping those less fortunate in the community.
South Melbourne FC organised and hosted the inaugural Lakeside Charity Cup which saw participation from all age groups from clubs including Green Gully, Beaumaris, Sporting Whittlesea, Lights United and the South Eastern Piranhas.
Each club had nominated a charity it would be playing for, and the winning prize money of $5,000 would be donated to that winning charity.
South Melbourne was playing for the KOALA Kids Foundation, an organisation that provides assistance to children suffering from cancer and support for their families. KOALA Kids was formed in 2006 as a program funded by the KOALA Foundation (Kids Oncology And Leukaemia Action).
The action on the park was intense, as players from all age groups put in outstanding performances to help their nominated charity.
In the end, South Melbourne emerged the winner on the final day. On hand to present the Lakeside Charity Cup to the winning club was Bruce Mildenhall, Chairman of the State Sports Centres Trust, Alannah Gottschalk from Parks Victoria, Amanda Mandie from KOALA Kids, SMFC Youth Development Director Tom Kalas, and SMFC President Leo Athanasakis.
Amanda Mandie from KOALA Kids foundation was delighted that South Melbourne had won the inaugural Lakeside Charity, and said “congratulations on South Melbourne’s initiative holding the inaugural Lakeside Charity Cup and our warmest thanks for selecting KOALA Kids as South Melbourne’s charity. KOALA Kids is in its seventh year and the $5,000 that you presented us will go a long way to providing lots of small things that make a difference to the lives of children and young people with cancer and their families.”
SMFC Youth Development Director Tom Kalas speaking to smfc.com.au said “winning tournaments, trophies, and championships is an important part of what we do at South Melbourne. However to win such an event for the benefit of a charity and for children a lot less fortunate than ourselves is an achievement second to none. Teaching our junior players the importance of contributing to community is an important life lesson that will hopefully become ingrained as they move into adulthood. We hope to stage another Lakeside Charity Cup next year and have already been approached by more clubs to take part, both local and interstate”.
South Melbourne would like to congratulate and thank all the participating clubs and players, along with all the volunteers who contributed to the successful and worthwhile event.