Community rallying behind Bailey at Kirstin Albeck Memorial 9’s day
Rugby league: Kicking goals both off and on the field is what the Kirstin Albeck Memorial 9’s day is all about.
Whether you’re a player or a spectator, the aim is to rally behind those within the community in need while paying tribute to Kirstin’s courageous battle with cancer.
Organiser, Trent Knight said the recent rainfall has put everyone in high spirits, with 14 teams nominated, an increase from the 11 last year, as well as overwhelming generosity from sponsors.
“I hope the rain stays away for this weekend, it can rain as much as it wants after the day but I don’t want the players to be doing more swimming then running,” he chuckled.
“The rain has definitely given the community a boost, and also might mean the cockys might not have to work now, and can come out and watch.”
In it’s sixth consecutive year, the Kirstin Albeck Memorial 9’s day pays tribute to the local woman who lost her courageous battle with Ewing Sarcoma by raising money for those in need in the community.
“Her family is massive part of the day, we wouldn’t be able to do it without her Dad,” Knight said.
“He helps with setting everything up, runs the bar the whole day and then sleeps at the oval on the Saturday night.
“The whole family is really proud to have the day run in Kirstin’s honour.”
This year the Memorial 9s day will be raising money for Bailey Hockey, a 12-year-old Roma girl who in January 2020 was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer – Epithelioid Sarcoma.
“At first they were didn’t believe they had been nominated and it took a couple of days for it to sink in before they accepted it,” Knight said.
“They said surely there’s someone else more in need, but to have cancer at just 12 years of age we really wanted to help and raise as much funds for her and her family.
“Every year we also donate to a local junior football club, which this year will be Mitchell Magpies. We will also be donating some funds to Lifeflight as well.”
With last year’s tournament being hugely successful and raising over $20,000, Knight said it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Maranoa and surrounding towns.
“Not only have the Roma community really gotten on board, we’ve also had Mitchell get behind it by bringing two sides,” he said.
“St George are also bringing two sides, as well as sides from Chinchilla, Miles, Mungindi and Toowoomba.
“All the little towns around us just help to make the day massive and to bring in a big crowd.”
Knight said with a huge amount of prize money up for grabs, all the teams are eager to give it a good crack, especially the U14 girls sides who make the most of the opportunity to play the game they love.
“We wanted to give the girls an opportunity to play because there’s nothing for them to do after they turn 12,” Knight said.
The Kirstin Albeck Memorial 9’s day will be held this Saturday at Gallas Fox Park from 9am onwards, with the Calcutta on Friday night at the Royal.
Entry is $5, with 12 and under free.