Sheedy floats Anzac AFL lotto fundraiser

The idea of an Anzac Day lottery to help raise money for the families of Aussie soldiers has RSL support, but is opposed by a gambling taskforce.

AFL legend Kevin Sheedy and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire want an Anzac Day lotto to help raise money for the families of dead Australian soldiers.

Sheedy came up with the idea, McGuire said Collingwood "support him 100 per cent" and even the RSL is on board.

But the plan to raise money during the traditional Anzac Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood has been described as an "odd choice" by an anti-gambling task force.

"It's sad that we need to turn to gambling to raise money for people in our community who need help," Victorian InterChurch Gambling Taskforce chair Mark Zirnsak told AAP.

"For a prominent public figure to suggest gambling as a fundraiser, it's definitely an odd choice and I would think that surely there were some other creative ways to fundraise."

Sheedy and McGuire were speaking outside the MCG on Wednesday in anticipation of the April 25 contest.

"Just imagine if we had an Anzac Day lotto for the families of our deceased soldiers, that would be possibly not a bad idea if we could ever get that through the corridors of power in this state," Sheedy said.

"I feel that the RSL have been working very diligently for a long time and I think there's an opportunity there and I think the public would love something like that ... it would be a great financial boost."

McGuire echoed Sheedy's sentiments.

"Kevin mentioned this and has been thinking about it and we support him 100 per cent."

National RSL boss Georgie Macris said the idea could encourage more people to donate to the charity.

"It's an amazing idea. We spend a lot of money on mental health and research, but if we could somehow put this lotto money towards stuff at a grassroots level, something as simple as paying someone to mow a widow's lawn, it would be great," she said.

"Rather than spend it on monuments and commemorations, I'd love to see it go to families and veterans."

Sheedy, Essendon's coach from 1981-2007, is largely credited for instigating the annual Anzac Day clash between Essendon and Collingwood, and McGuire believes the fixture has helped revitalise the country's most solemn day.

Both clubs unveiled the jumpers they will wear for the Anzac Day clash.

Collingwood's features the names of the 57 Collingwood players who served in World War I.

Essendon's jumper has a red sash made entirely of 22 poppies which represent each of the 22 Essendon players who lost their lives fighting wars for Australia.

3 min read
Published 4 April 2018 at 3:06pm
Source: AAP