Eastlake Demons men’s head coach Peter McGrath has always taken pride in his side’s defensive pressure so it’s not like his side needed any more incentive to tackle with ferocity.
But this season, making a tackle stick will not just count to the Demon’s result on the field but also to life-changing effects off it.
The club’s first-grade men’s side have sworn to tackle for a cure in 2019, as local businesses and organisations donate money to finding a cure for cancer with every tackle the side makes.
Counting every tackle the first-grade men’s side will make across the 16 games this season, the club hopes to raise $10,000 to help the University of Canberra find a cure.
“We can’t guarantee that we will kick a lot of goals each game but we can certainly guarantee effort on the ground and that we will make tackles every weekend,” McGrath said with a smile. “As a footy club, we pride ourselves on defensive pressure so we make roughly 50-60 tackles a game.
“It gives us even more incentive to tackle as well. From a coaching point of view, it’s always nice when you don’t need to provide that incentive verbally when you have a cause there week to week to focus on.”
UC’s Melanie Swan Memorial Translational Centre, led by Professor Sudha Rao, is working towards treating the occurrence and spread of metastatic cancer, revolutionising cancer treatments by rethinking the way cancer is detected, tracked and treated.
There is currently no cure for metastatic cancers, and those with the disease have minimal treatment options. Professor Rao’s team is working to increase options and survival chances for those diagnosed with metastatic cancers such as melanoma, brain, lung, pancreatic, kidney and ovarian cancers.
Following the success of the Demons’ organ donation awareness round last year, the club looked for a new cause to raise money and awareness for in the local Canberra community.
“The whole concept was to further develop our players away from football,” McGrath said. “From a coaching perspective, I am really focused on giving players a better perspective on life and encouraging them to reach out to community groups or certain causes and jumping on board and assisting away from footy.
“Our players have been really proactive in that space and further developing community engagement.
“We thought that everyone has been touched by cancer in some way in their lives, whether it is themselves or someone close to them. We thought we can really dig deep into this area and help to find the cure so that our loved ones can beat cancer.”
The club is now calling for more businesses to jump on board the initiative and help find a cure for the deadly disease.
“The more local businesses that support ‘Tackling for a Cure’ the closer that Professor Sudha Rao gets to a clinical trial and ultimately the treatment of deadly cancer cells,” McGrath said.
“Whether it be a dollar a tackle or 50 cents a tackle, or donating for just one week or one month or for the entire season, it is entirely up to them. If we could have at least $10,000 to hand over to the University of Canberra that would be fantastic.
“They are close in some ways to finding a cure for some cancers but they need the financial support to make it happen.”
Anyone interested in getting involved and donating to the Tackling for a Cure initiative can contact Eastlake Football Club football operations manager Jeff Roberts.