QAFL rivals and number one and two on the ladder, Labrador and Palm Beach, pressed pause on their rivalry this week to donate blood together, ahead of their round 11 grand final rematch.
Palm Beach Currumbin coach Chad Owens drove the initiative, in response to his young nephew Archer’s ongoing battle with a rare liver and lung disease called Alpha One.
“At the moment he’s in pretty dire need of some blood transfusions,” said Owens.
“Obviously not just him, but there’s many people like that all over the country that are in need. There’s a big shortage, so we’re just trying to raise awareness as we can for people like Archer.”
A support group for the little battler has been established called Archer’s Alpha Angels, initiated by a Mums group, now raising awareness about the requirement for blood donors, as well as donating blood themselves.
As it stands, only 1 in 30 Australians give blood, opposed to the 1 in 3 Australians that will need blood at some point in their life.
Palm Beach players Stephen Thynne, Blake Emblem and Jake Goody represented the Lions contingent, becoming Red Cross ‘Red25 Champions.’
“I’ve always been thinking about it, but never actually just went out (to) do it. I guess with Chad organizing it, it made it pretty easy to come down and do it,” said Emblem.
Labrador coach Aaron Shattock also came along, donating blood on behalf of the Tigers.
“Obviously we’re fierce rivals on the field, but off the field, mutual respect, and yeah, when there’s someone in need we’re more than happy to put our hands up and help each other out,” said Shattock.
“We’re going to organize a bit of a gathering and we’ll go and donate blood hopefully in the next couple of weeks.”
By Sean Melrose