Kick It For Brain Cancer Round

From 06 – 08 April 2018, the Hyundai A-League, Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) united with Cure Brain Cancer Foundation to raise vital funds and awareness to help find a cure for brain cancer. The initiative was a resounding success, raising close to $100,000, and engaging an entirely new community with the brain cancer cause. This is how Kick It For Brain Cancer came to life.

Kick It For Brain Cancer Facebook Image Gallery

Who inspired Kick It For Brain Cancer?

Kick It For Brain Cancer was inspired by former Hyundai A-League Championship-winning captain Mark Rudan and his sister Mariana, a former SBS newsreader. Following their mother Ana’s diagnosis with a rare form of brain cancer in late 2017, Mark and Mariana needed to do something to shine a light on brain cancer.

They were shocked to discover how underfunded brain cancer research is, and how few treatment options are available globally, despite major advances in other diseases. Armed with these newly learned statistics, they approached Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and Hyundai A-League to make Kick It For Brain Cancer a reality.

Making Kick It For Brain Cancer happen

This initiative would not have been possible without top-level support from the Hyundai A-League, FFA and PFA, as well as all ten Hyundai A-League clubs. Head of the Hyundai A-League, Greg O’Rourke, was a major supporter of Kick It For Brain Cancer from the very beginning. The CEO’s of all ten Hyundai A-League clubs were also passionate supporters, ensuring their staff and players were engaged with the initiative at all levels. Without that buy-in at all levels, from players to marketing to events to stadium announcers, Kick It For Brain Cancer would not have been possible.

The multi-level support for Kick It For Brain Cancer was all the more humbling given the initiative would take place in the final weeks of a football season that had already supported a number of other worthy causes.

The statistics around brain cancer and the impact it has on so many young people in particular were a major factor in engaging the football community. More kids play football than any other sport in Australia, but this brutal disease takes the lives of more kids every year than any other.

Engaging the football community

With the help of Mark, Mariana, the FFA and PFA, Kick It For Brain Cancer was able to call on the support of footballers and football personalities from across the world to help spread the word about brain cancer.

At media launches in Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle, representatives from the local clubs including Scott Jamieson, Chris Ikonomidis, Fabio Ferreira and Nikolai Topor-Stanley pledged their support for Kick It For Brain Cancer, as did the coaches and staff at each club.

Further afield, Socceroos legend Tim Cahill threw his significant voice behind the cause from London, as did Socceroos #1 Mat Ryan and former Socceroo Archie Thompson. TV personalities Lucy Zelic and Adam Peacock also did their bit, encouraging their followers and viewers to get behind Kick It For Brain Cancer over the course of the weekend.

The mainstream media also got behind the Kick It For Brain Cancer bandwagon, with news coverage across major TV and radio stations including Today, Sunrise, 2GB and Fox Sports, throughout the week preceding the initiative.

Bringing in the fans

At all five Hyundai A-League fixtures throughout the weekend, Cure Brain Cancer Foundation had a physical and virtual presence, ensuring fans both in the stadium and at home were engaged with Kick It For Brain Cancer. Specially created Kick It For Brain Cancer hypertubes sold out across the weekend. Online and in-person donations helped ensure the round was a fundraising success.