Charity football game in doubt

A charity football match between Tasmania and Victoria is in danger of not going ahead after sponsors pulled funding from the event. 

The Aurigin Legends Charity Game is an annual event that pits ex-AFL and ex-VFL players from Tasmania and Victoria against each other to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy Tasmania.

This year will be the first time it is held in Launceston if it goes ahead.

Participants in past years include Matthew Richardson, Dermott Brereton, Brendan Fevola, Gavin Wanganeen, Tony Modra and Michael O’Loughlin. 

However, event organiser James Wiggins said that they need to come up with $10,000 of sponsorship money by close of business Friday for the event to go ahead. 

“A couple of long-term sponsors have gone in a different direction with sponsorship money this year,” he said.

“It’s left the game hanging in the air, because we need that money to pay for airfares, accommodation and uniforms for participating players.”

The game first began in 2012 as a way to raise funds for Muscular Dystrophy Tasmania, with approximately $50,000 raised over the past three years.

“[The game] was first started because my mate’s daughter suffers from this disease,” Mr Wiggins said. 

“We expect that with bringing the game to North and North-East Tasmania that we could raise up to $30,000 this year.”

“We deserve this game in Tasmania, and I’m really excited to bring the game to Launceston.”

Ex-AFL player, and long-time event supporter, Paul Hudson praised the game and the hard work of Mr Wiggins.

“I’ve known James for some time, and to pull off an event like this on his own – all credit to him,” he said.

“[The event] is one way of me giving back, and coming back to play in this event.

“Having grown up in Tassie, it’s a way of me giving back to the state and doing it for a worthwhile cause.

He also said the game provided a great sponsorship opportunity for local companies. 

“The opportunity to affiliate yourself with some well-known people who have played in the game over the years, like Dermott Brereton and Matty Richardson, is a really big one,” he said. 

“You’re supporting those involved with the event, and if you do come on board as a sponsor you probably have access to some of these ex-AFL legends, and maybe getting them to help out with your business.”

Hudson’s father, four-time leading VFL goalkicker Peter Hudson, will coach the Tasmanian team if the event goes ahead.

To help save the event, contact James Wiggins on 0428 370 743.