Melbourne, Feb.11 (ANI): Golfing great Greg Norman has agreed to participate in a celebrity tournament next week to support Victoria's bushfire victims.
Norman will be joined by the likes of cricketer Justin Langer and swimmer Todd Pearson, at The Vines Resort in Queensland on Tuesday to help raise money for the bushfire appeal, reports news.com.au.
Money raised on the day will be added to a contribution to be made by the Johnnie Walker Classic, which will be held at The Vines from February 19.
Players and officials at this week's Women's Australian Open at Metropolitan in Melbourne have also pledged their support, while further help will come from AFL fans and players at the NAB Cup game on the Gold Coast and from New Zealand rugby fans at the season-opening round of Super 14 matches across the Tasman.
The ongoing support from the various sporting codes came as the Red Cross said funds raised for the bushfire victims had topped 44 million dollars.
The Gold Coast Football Club, the Gold Coast City Council and the AFL have agreed to donate 50 per cent of the proceeds from the game on Saturday between St Kilda and the Brisbane Lions, a gesture expected to raise more than 70,000 dollars.
Brisbane Lions chief executive Michael Bowers said: "The fires are clearly a national tragedy and we are pleased to be able work as part of the AFL industry to do whatever we can to help."
St Kilda chief executive Archie Fraser said: "This is a time when every contribution, regardless of the size will help the people affected by the tragic events of the past week."
On Friday New Zealand Red Cross volunteers will be on hand at the Super 14 match between the Highlanders and the Brumbies in Dunedin, the Crusaders-Chiefs game at Christchurch and the Hurricanes-Waratahs match in Wellington.
New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said with two Australian teams playing in New Zealand (the Waratahs and Brumbies) on the opening weekend of the Super 14 competition, it was timely for rugby in New Zealand to show its support.
"This is a human tragedy on an unimaginable scale and everyone involved in rugby in New Zealand wishes to express our sympathy and concern for those who have lost loved ones and provide tangible support for those now needing to rebuild their lives," he said.
Players and spectators at all three matches in New Zealand and at the AFL match on the Gold Coast will also be asked to observe a minute's silence before the games.
At the Women's Australian Open, the Ladies European Tour (LET) and Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) Tour, who co-sanction the 500,000-dollar event will donate five dollars for every birdie over the four days of competition.
ALPG Tour boss Warren Sevil said players were being invited to match this or to donate some of their prize money. (ANI)