This could become ASTRONOMICAL!
Cross town rugby club rivals, Orange Emus and Orange City are going head to head in what has been deemed the Claret Cup.
The inaugural year was held last year with the challenge taking place during the pre-season. Between the two clubs they managed to get 233 donations which was the equivalent of 699 lives saved.
The idea came from Orange City’s Publicity Officer, Paul Hepworth, “I was thinking of ways that the football club could use its influence to help the community and I had an appointment to donate blood booked for the next day. City and Emus have a great rivalry on the field which I thought we could use to our advantage within the community. Everyone is great mates off the field, so it was pretty easy to approach Emus and it just took off from there.”
Why the name? ‘Claret’ is a slang term for blood - hence Claret Cup. “We were originally going to name it after legends from each club but that was so hard to choose with the number of options we had, so we decided on a fun name instead in the hope we could open it up to other clubs/codes in the future.”
With the competition running until March, Paul continued, “The goal for me has always been to try and get new people in to donate blood and help those in need. It doesn’t take much out of your day to get in there once a fortnight or even every three months depending on what you donate, and their milkshakes are honestly the best in Orange.”
This year Orange City are chasing down Emus as they took out the trophy last year, so far they are all tied up at 18 each. “At the end of the day if we can get more donations than last year across both clubs, I think we would all be very happy with that.”
Paul added, “In the future we’d be looking to open up the challenge to all codes represented in Orange and play on that rivalry (so union vs league vs netball etc). I think that everyone is connected to a sport somehow regardless of, or if people actually play one or not. If we get it to all codes participating it will get the whole town talking about trying to win and people would be recruiting their friends and family to help them out. If we could get to that stage the number of donations the Red Cross would receive would be astronomical.”
So? What are you waiting for? You can join in too, all you have to do is tell one of the lovely Blood Bank staff members which team you’d like to join, its as easy as that.
Editor: If this isn’t a simple idea with the potential to do a whole more with, I’ll give up. OC Life encourages our readers to fully consider how they can get involved. With a bit of entrepreneurial flair, and the addition of other support attractions, possibly along sporting lines, this could become an annual event and gain National recognition. I can imagine hundreds of people, maybe thousands, coming to Orange for the event and to give blood.