As they step out at The Fortress on Friday night to do battle against the Broncos, the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will be playing for much more than two competition points.
With uniforms inspired by Wolverine as part of the NRL’s ISC Marvel Super Heroes round, the Sea Eagles will be stepping out as superheroes to help kids who can’t take steps of their own.
Captain Jamie Lyon said they were dedicating the home-ground clash to kids with cerebral palsy and Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s STEPtember campaign.
‘It is fitting that we take to the field as superheroes and help raise awareness about the need to support the thousands of Aussie kids with cerebral palsy,’ Jamie said. ‘These kids battle every day to be able to do the things other kids take for granted, like walking, talking and playing with their friends and families.’
‘We will be putting our bodies on the line to not only come away with a win, but inspire our fans to also be superheroes by joining us in supporting the STEPtember challenge.’
The Sea Eagles are once again supporting STEPtember – an activity based challenge where participants do 10,000 steps a day throughout September. Four Manly players – Matt Ballin, Jamie Buhrer, Tom Symonds and Peta Hiku will have their activity monitored during the clash with the Broncos, with the player who covers the most distance awarded the inaugural STEPtember Players Shield.
Front and centre in the dug-out for the clash with the Broncos will be STEPtember Ambassador Ben Tudhope – the 14-year-old Paralympic snowboarder (and tragic Manly fan) who stole hearts across the globe when he snagged a top ten finish at the recent Sochi Winter Games.
Ben has cerebral palsy which affects his left side. His guts and determination have taken him to the top of his sport. Not only is he Australia’s youngest ever winter Paralympian and the youngest competitor at Sochi, but he also had the honour of carrying the Australian flag at the Closing Ceremony.
‘I’ll be cheering on the Sea Eagles from the dug-out, hoping they use their superhero powers to notch up a win over the Broncos’, Ben said.
‘The Sea Eagles’ support of STEPtember could well be a game-changer for other kids with cerebral palsy, who desperately need equipment and therapy to help them walk and communicate. Long after they take off their Wolverine jerseys, the players will remain superheroes to kids like me.’
STEPtember is an Aussie-inspired campaign which is now also being held in the US, Canada, the UK, The Netherlands and Turkey. Sea Eagles’ fans are urged to sign up at www.steptember.org.au and register their team under the group “Sea Eagles Superheroes”.