Shepparton-based charity Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation has hit the international sporting stage.By Patrick O'Meara
Shepparton-based charity Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation has hit the international sporting stage.
The organ and tissue donation awareness foundation has become the first official charity partner of the Australian Cricketers’ Association.
Australian cricketers donned the foundation’s famous rainbow laces for the first one-day international against Sri Lanka earlier this month and some players have adopted the laces full-time.
Australian Twenty20 skipper George Bailey got them significant exposure when he was crunched on the foot in Monday night’s clash with Sri Lanka.
Channel Nine’s coverage repeatedly showed close ups of Bailey’s shoes, featuring the rainbow laces.
Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation chief executive Allan Turner said the partnership was the culmination of a lot of hard work.
‘‘This all started a number of years ago,’’ Turner said.
‘‘We had Brett Lee and Mike Hussey wear the laces for a one-day game and that was after we had built a relationship with the Victorian Bushrangers.
‘‘It has come from that, to being what we have now.’’
Zaidee’s has had a strong affinity with cricket.
That relationship with the Bushrangers has spawned the Zaidee’s Cup, which is contested annually by the Bushrangers and NSW.
Across three seasons, the Bushrangers have been the sole recipient of the cup.
Turner said it was a major thrill to be watching international cricket fixtures and see the laces in focus.
‘‘It is just fantastic,’’ he said.
‘‘There was George Bailey on Monday night and even on Tuesday, when I was watching the Prime Minister’s XI, a lot of the Aussie guys were wearing them there.
‘‘It is a really proud moment for us as a family, for all the hard work we have done over the years to get to the pinnacle — the No.
‘‘It is very rare that charities get the chance to partner a program at that level, so we are thrilled.’’
Before the players wore the laces, both the International Cricket Council and Cricket Australia had to approve.
Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation was formed after Turner’s seven-year-old daughter died in December 2004 from a burst blood vessel in her brain called a Cerebral Aneurism.
Zaidee donated her organs and tissue and improved the lives of seven people.
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