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Gloucester native and Perth Wildcats captain, Damian Martin and his Wildcats vice captain Greg Hire are coming to town to run a basketball clinic as a fundraiser for brain cancer on Sunday, June 25.
The event came about after a conversation between Damian and Ernie Abeysekera from Helloworld Gloucester.
Helloworld Limited is one of the sponsors of the Australian basketball team, the Boomers and so naturally, Ernie has been looking to bring the local star back home for a basketball clinic and fundraiser for the community.
Damian has jumped at the opportunity to visit his home town and help renew the interest in the sport that was a big part of his childhood.
While he’s in town, he plans to visits a few of the local schools, especially, St Joseph’s Primary School where his career began.
“As an eight year old, I played my first State game with St Joes in a knockout competition,” Damian remembered.
The Helloworld Gloucester Charity Sports Event is open to registered and unregistered players to come out and learn a few skills from a couple of professional players.
Entry is via a gold coin donation with monies raised donated to the Airlie Homestead Day for Derek for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
The cause is close to Damian’s heart, as Derek Kerry, who the fundraiser is in the name of, was the older brother of his best mate from school, Shaun Kerry.
In fact, Damian, who moonlights as a marriage celebrant, performed Shaun’s wedding 12 months ago.
Damian said that originally the event was going to be offered for free with a fundraising barbecue run by the Rotary Club of Gloucester.
But when Damian found out about the Airlie Homestead Day for Derek fundraiser, it was decided that they ask for a gold coin donation with all the proceeds going to the cause.
The following weekend, July 1, the Airlie Homestead Day for Derek event, in support of The Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, will be held in Rawdon Vale, which Damian’s attending.
“I haven’t been out there since high school,” he said.
He suspects a few of his old high school mates will be in attendance on the day, some he hasn’t seen in a fair while, however, his flight to China the next morning, will restrict the celebrations somewhat.
Damian said the Wildcats run around 300 hours of clinics and community engagements per year, and that fact that he can deliver one of these in his home town is a chance to say thank you to the community for the support over the years.
As well as the basketball clinics and scrimmage matches that are being organised on the day, the event is an opportunity for anyone in the community to come out and meet the players.
“I’m hoping for everyone from the community to come down,” Damian said.
Both Damian and Greg will be travelling with their families, which both include young babies.
“It’s funny, while we’ll be out dribbling, they’ll be doing their own dribbling,” he laughed.
As part of the fundraising, an autographed, mounted and framed Olympic Boomers jersey, donated by Helloworld Gloucester and Basketball Australia, will be raffled off.
Tom Moore from Basketball Australia said the organisation is fully supporting the event because they believe it’s invaluable to Gloucester.
“It’s to help Gloucester get more kids to play,” he said.
“Even if you don’t play, get down there and have a meet and greet and a photo with the players,” Tom encouraged.
The Rotary Club of Gloucester will be cooking up on a barbecue for both breakfast and lunch.
Also, the Gloucester Basketball Club will be opening the canteen.
Gloucester Basketball are encouraging anyone interested in giving the sport a try, to book into one of the sessions.
The sessions are as follows:
- 9am – 10:30am: under 12s (minimum age nine years)
- 10:30am – 12pm: under 14s
- 1pm – 2:30pm: under 16s
- 2:30pm – 4pm: under 18s
Locals will be given priority but spaces are limited.
To nominate or for more information on the event visit the Gloucester Basketball Facebook page or call Kent on 0429 408 508 or Chris on 0429 177 881.