From the tiny tots to the seasoned soccer stars – there was something for everyone at the 90 Minutes for Cancer football event which raised a phenomenal $35, 371 for cancer research at Children’s Medical Research Institute.
The event was organised by a bunch of friends who came up with the idea as teenagers trying to work out who had the best soccer team. Three years later and it has developed into a huge community event which was recently held at Club Marconi in Sydney.
The day started with Mini Minutes for Cancer, a new segment introduced in 2019, involving five local kids teams from ages 7 to 10 playing a friendly gala-day style tournament. The winning team on the day was FDA white, who defeated Mounties 4-1 in the final.
Next, was the first Community Cup, also a new segment introduced in 2019, which saw 34 members of the local community coming together to form two teams. The close game came down to a penalty shootout. After a tense battle of penalties, the maroon team were victorious and took home the first Community Cup.
Finally, the big one. The Charity Shield involved the Tigers and the Rams. After both teams having won a game each in the two years previous, both were eager to gain bragging rights. The game was drawn at 2-2, up until the last five minutes, when Ram Anthony Trimboli found the back of the net. The game finishing 3-2 and the Rams, victorious once more.
Aside from the games there was a sausage sizzle which did not stop all day, CMRI mini-lab, Judith Hyam's stall, resident DJ – Pep B, a great live singing performance by Tony Sergi, a jumping castle, the Western Sydney Wanderers target practice challenge, and a huge raffle with prizes like a signed Sydney FC jersey, Wanderers jersey and Matildas jersey.
One of the organisers Chris Ripepi said they had more than 600 people turn up but involving children this year was a real highlight.
“If I had to pick a highlight, it would be the introduction of Mini Minutes, I thought it was a great addition which involved so many different people. It was great to see that all these local people and their football clubs had come together to support a common cause and each player brought with them, family who supported them also.
“We were really happy with the day, as it was much more diverse compared to previous years. I think we really nailed it with entertaining a broader spectrum of people throughout the day.
“It gives us great satisfaction, putting on a good day out for our local community. ‘’
He said they were also pleased to have worked with the team from CMRI for the first time.
“We have received overwhelming support from CMRI and they have allowed us to reach new highs this year. Without their support, the day would not have been the success that it was. We especially loved the tour of the CMRI labs, as it allowed us to see in person, where our donations were going and to see how the funds we raise are being put to work. ‘’