Sport stars get behind flood victims


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15-01-2011 08:15 AM


ABC Canberra 666

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ABC Canberra 666


15-01-2011 08:15 AM



15-01-2011 08:50 AM

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2011-01-15 08:15:09

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OM, Jason


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Sport stars get behind flood victims -

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Cycling champion Lance Armstrong will lead hundreds of people on a charity ride for the Queensland
flood victims in Adelaide today. World cycling is among the major sporting codes to try to raise
money for the victims.

SHANE MCLEOD: As the millions of dollars in donations from ordinary Australians pour in, the major
sporting codes are doing their bit to help. Today it's cycling's turn with a charity ride on the
eve of the Tour Down Under in South Australia.

The world cycling event's star attraction, champion Lance Armstrong organised the ride through
Twitter. And he's urging everyone to give generously, as Jason Om reports.

JASON OM: Lance Armstrong knows how to drum up support for a cause. The seven times Tour de France
winner is a prominent cancer campaigner, having beaten the disease. He hopes today's ride will
ensure the Queensland flood victims are not forgotten.

LANCE ARMSTRONG: You can't help but just stop and reflect when you see a family on a rooftop and
just dying to get out of there.

JASON OM: This morning, hundreds of people will join the American and ride along Adelaide's coast
from Glenelg to Semaphore. Among the riders will be Lance Armstrong's teammate and Queensland
cyclist Robbie McEwen. He watched the devastation from the safety on his Gold Coast home.

ROBBIE MCEWEN: Just seeing what's happened in the city I was born in, in Brisbane, and over much of
the state, it's just a real tragedy. It makes you think how quickly things can turn bad.

JASON OM: He's encouraging cyclists to donate to the Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.

ROBBIE MCEWEN: If everybody makes the same sort of efforts to do what they can when they can then
it will go a long way in the end to helping everybody affected by the floods.

JASON OM: What difference do you think it wowilluld make for the flood victims to know that
sporting stars are getting behind them?

ROBBIE MCEWEN: It doesn't change their situation a hell of a lot, I mean, they've still lost
everything, a lot of people. But I think it must be nice to know that people care and people want
to help.

JASON OM: Other sports are rallying behind the cause too. The AFL and the AFL players association
have donated $650,000 between them, while the Brisbane Lions have been lending their muscle power.

The club's general manager of football Dean Warren says some players have been helping Brisbane
residents clean up their homes.

DEAN WARREN: Michael Voss and some of our leadership group went out. So they sort of rolled their
sleeves up and got in and got stuck into helping a few people clean all their houses out of the
furniture and start cleaning up basically.

JASON OM: The floods hit Queensland tennis hard with the state's tennis centre facing a massive
clean up. But Tennis Queensland's Cameron Pearson says the sport is focusing on the victims.

On Sunday, the big names in the game will hold a special match in Melbourne on the eve of the
Australian Open.

CAMERON PEARSON: Roger Federer, Raphael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Sam Stosur, Lleyton Hewitt and others
are coming out on court and will be playing, you know, playing for the crowd.

JASON OM: The response has been overwhelming. Tickets for centre court sold out within hours.

CAMERON PEARSON: It's amazing how people want to support those in need.

JASON OM: Cricket Australia and soccer's Gold Coast United are taking donations at their matches
this month. All the goodwill will add to the millions of dollars already raised.