Bond University Rugby Club players are swapping balls for bats to compete against the Gold Coast Suns in a charity cricket event for Autism Gold Coast this Sunday (February 1).
Players and staff from both the Gold Coast Suns and Bond University Rugby Club will be taking part in the cricket match at Cheltenham Oval in Robina to raise funds and awareness for autistic children and their families.
The charity game is the brainchild of Barry Mobberley, a Gold Coaster going in to bat for Autism Gold Coast, a local non-profit organisation providing support to parents, families and carers of people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
"My granddaughter has Asperger's syndrome and she is so special, but she sometimes struggles to make friends because of her condition," said Barry.
"I don't think enough attention is given to children and families living with an autism spectrum disorder, which is why I felt compelled to organise the charity cricket match to raise much needed funds and awareness around this important issue."
Barry is no stranger to organising a charity cricket event, having successfully coordinated a game between the Queensland Reds and the Brisbane Lions in the late 80s.
"The last match I arranged was a huge success, the proceeds of which were donated to cancer research," he said.
"At the time, my father-in-law had recently passed away from cancer so it was an issue very close to my heart."
Sunday's cricket match will also feature a variety of entertainment for the whole family - face-painting, sausage sizzles, pony rides, balloon artists, a hot rod display and various raffles throughout the day.
"We'll be raffling off a football signed by all members of the 2015 Titans, as well as a jersey signed by the entire 2013 Gold Coast Suns team, including Gary Ablett," he said.
Entry fee is a gold coin donation, with 100% of the proceeds going to Autism Gold Coast. Gates open at 10am for an 11am start to the match.
"It's a great day out for a good cause, and also a wonderful opportunity for kids with an autism spectrum disorder to get together and have some fun."