Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club gets behind captain Tom Milosevic's fund-raiser for those affected by wild bush fires in Australia
A Bury St Edmunds rugby team has launched a fund-raiser in solidarity with those affected by the wild fires which have devastated millions of hectares across Australia.
Players, sponsors and officials at Bury St Edmunds RUFC have thrown their weight behind the efforts of first team captain Tom Milosevic, who moved from his hometown of Brisbane, Australia, to join the Bury team in September.
Tom, who has seen the devastation caused by the fires on the news and heard about it through family and friends back home, decided along with his friend and fellow Aussie Todd Dawson to shave his head on Australia Day, January 26, to raise money for the country’s Red Cross.
“Being this far away from home and seeing what is happening, I do feel quite helpless even though there is probably very little people back home can do either,” said Tom.
“To watch the country you have grown up in suffer in the way it has is difficult and so I suppose this is my way to do my part for my country whilst living abroad.”
The pair set up a fund-raising page with the aim to raise 5,000 Australian dollars – approximately £2,500 – and have already reached more than half their target in just four days.
Tom said this was largely thanks to his rugby team mates getting on board and sharing the page.
“Everyone at the rugby club has got behind it and that’s really helped in gaining some exposure,” said 25-year-old Tom.
“I didn’t expect this level of support and I really appreciate it. To show such support to someone who hasn’t been at the club or in the town for long is really nice.
“There is such a sense of community in Bury St Edmunds and I’d like to thank everyone who has donated or helped in any way.”
As well as pushing the fund-raising page, the club has plans to do a bucket collection at their next home game against Barnes RFC on Saturday, January 18.
Will Affleck, who has played with the rugby club for six years and has helped organise the bucket collection, said the move was a ‘no-brainer’ for everyone at the club.
“All of us at the club have seen the damage caused by these fires and we do feel a tie with Australia because of the rugby link,” said the 27-year-old.
“We also know it must be really hard for Tom to be so far away from home when this is going on so we want do to all we can do to help him raise the money.”
To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/f/todd-and-tom-head-shave-for-bushfire-appeal
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