Digging in for wellness centre

June 7, 2024 BY

Training time: Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre's Wellness Centre manager Simone Noelker and Heinrika and Greg Smith recently attended a Diggers practice session. Photo: SUPPLIED

BALLARAT’S AFL Masters Football Club, the Diggers, are marking 10 years since they first began raising funds for the Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre’s Wellness Centre.

Fundraising efforts continues in 2024, with a special Cancer Round footy match set for June 16 at Russell Square.

The Diggers will also don pink socks and shorts to highlight their support of BRICC.

“Many years ago, one of our players unfortunately lost his partner to cancer,” Diggers member Justin Kammerer said.

“Since then, we’ve been motivated to support cancer treatment in our community.

“When we heard that the Cancer Wellness Centre received no government funding, we thought what better way to do something in the Ballarat community than to support a charity that is 100 per cent community funded.”

BRICC Wellness Centre manager Simone Noelker said the public’s generosity was key in providing free education and support for cancer patients.

“Every year, community donations help us provide over 3000 free appointments for 21 different programs including oncology massage, gentle exercise groups, our wig library and cancer-specific support groups.”

In recent years, married couple Greg and Henrika Smith respectively had treatment for prostate cancer and lymphoma, and both used the Wellness Centre.

“During treatment, you can have some really bad days, and being able to visit the Wellness Centre when you are worried is so important,” Mrs Smith said.

“Simone and her volunteers are so supportive in helping find

the answers and just being there to help you when it feels overwhelming.”

Mr and Mrs Smith were able to attend a recent Diggers training session and said they supported the club’s fundraising efforts.

The Cancer Round footy game begins at 12.30pm, with a raffle and speeches to follow at 4.30pm. Raffle tickets are $25, available at the BRICC Wellness Centre and at Russell Square on the day.

Prizes include a custom firepit, Sporting Globe and Sinclair Meats vouchers, and Red Duck beer.