Cadbury AFL 9s and Brisbane radio station, B105, recently gave listeners a once in a lifetime chance to run onto the Gabba in front of over 26,000 fans.
The occasion…an AFL 9s match between B105 and local celebrities at half time of the Brisbane Lions v Collingwood Magpies.
The B105 team were made up of their local radio hosts Labby, Abby and Pete….who admitted early on that they weren’t ‘elite’ sports people but were keen to have a crack and give the celebs a run for their money.
The celebrities on the other hand were overflowing with experience. The side featured Natalie Cook (Olympic gold medallist), Alana Lowes (former Masterchef competitor and 4 times Womens All Australian team), Kay McGrath (Channel 7 news host and long time Lions fanatic) and Sean and Amy Cornish from Channel 7’s House Rules (Sean also having played AFL for years with Sandgate in Brisbane’s north).
The celebs and B105 competition winners took part in a ‘master class’ before the match with the teams getting their first chance to eye off their opposition. Led by super coaches ex-Lion Cheynee Stiller and ex-Magpie Craig Starcevich the group picked up the basic skills and also received a quick rundown of the rules, with Natalie Cook clearly disappointed when told that a free kick would be paid if anyone attempted a ‘specky’, much to the relief of Labby.
Once everybody got onto the field the nerves quickly disappeared with the celeb team settling into the game faster. With a number of spills and thrills from B105 listeners and celebs alike the match proved to be highly entertaining and while no scores were kept, the ultra-competitive Natalie Cook was clearly keeping tally, assuring everyone that the celeb team took out the match comfortably.
Abby was clearly excited by the prospect of taking to the field. “I got so excited standing out on the ground of the Gabba, it was electrifying”.
Even more exciting, the prospect of a number of these celebrities fielding their own team in local social competitions around Brisbane.
Cadbury AFL 9s, a modified touch version played on a smaller field, provided the perfect opportunity to involve a number of fans and listeners who had never played the game before, enabling men and women of all ages to enter the competition and take it up to the celebrity guests.