Five All Blacks along with a host of current and former first-class cricketers are to take part in a charity cricket match next Sunday (January 29) to help raise funds for Christchurch teacher Steve Hart who is battling a rare and aggressive form of appendix cancer.
The match, to be played at St Thomas of Canterbury College grounds starting at noon, will see Andrew Ellis, Israel Dagg, Corey Flynn, Kieran Read and Wyatt Crockett join former BLACKCAPS Geoff Allott, Paul McEwan and Rod Latham along a host of other sports personalities in the 40-over fundraiser.
Sir Richard Hadlee is the teams’ manager and match managers are former BLACKCAP Stephen Boock and Keith Yardley.
Hart is the Deputy Principal at St Thomas of Canterbury College and has coached both the school’s First XV and First XI. Married to Samantha, the 34-year-old has four young children.
Chris O’Connell, head of sport at St Thomas’, said that the idea of having a charity cricket game was a way of having fun, raising some much needed money and doing an activity that Steve is very interested in.
“The fact that we have All Blacks playing in the game is just awesome and Steve will be absolutely blown away that those lads have offered to be involved in an event that is ultimately for him.
“The game isn’t just for Steve but is for the benefit of his lovely wife Sam and his four young kids. It is a great way for the community to come together and do their bit to help the family out. We just want as many people as possible to come along to make it a fabulous and successful day,” he said.
Entrance to the game is a gold coin donation and there will be a wide range of other entertainment available on the day. New Zealand police dogs will be in attendance. The Willows Cricket Club is also strongly supporting the day.
The two teams also include former New Zealand and Canterbury players, old boys of St Thomas’ and several young promising cricketers.
The Br Bill Dowling XI is: Andrew Ellis, Wyatt Crockett, Kieran Reid, Ben Harris, Brad Doody, Geoff Allott, Paul McEwan, Rod Latham, Andrew Nuttall, Shayne Philpott, Paul Rutledge, Peter Younghusband.
The Steve Hart XI is: Corey Flynn, Israel Dagg, Ryan Burson, Darron Reekers, Thomas Agnew, Mark Priest, Alex Reese, Ben Laughton, Paul McCarthy, Chris O’Connell, Theo Van Woerkom, Blair Norton.
The Steven Hart Fund
In September 2011, Steve was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of appendix cancer which, without proper treatment, is life threatening. Since August, Steve has endured two lots of surgery including removal of half his bowel and appendix where the cancer existed. Because his appendix had perforated, it is possible that the cancer has spread which will require on-going chemotherapy with future uncertainty.
The Steven Hart Fund has been set up so the Hart family knows that they have a full support network of people behind them that can contribute in some way.
Funds raised or donated will be used to assist Steve with the most effective method of treatment available. Steve's progress will be updated on a dedicated page on the website of St Thomas’ where he works (www.stc.school.nz/steven-hart-fund<http://www.stc.school.nz/steven-hart-fund>). This page will outline up-to-date information on Steve’s progress and planned fundraising events.