Big Freeze at Chapman Valley a cause worth sliding for

Grant WoodhamsGeraldton Guardian
Grant Woodhams, back, third from right, poses with others who took the freezing plunge at Chapman Valley to raise awareness of motor neurone disease.
Camera IconGrant Woodhams, back, third from right, poses with others who took the freezing plunge at Chapman Valley to raise awareness of motor neurone disease. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

I am familiar with the expression that self-praise is no recommendation, but in the era when Good King Donald leads the free world, I thought I might indulge myself.

I had the great privilege recently, at Nabawa Oval in the Chapman Valley, to take part in an event in which I went down an inflatable slide into a mix of ice and water in aid of charity.

The charity is Fight MND – motor neurone disease – and the event is The Big Freeze.

You may have seen some of the publicity around Fight MND which features former Australian Rules great Neale Daniher, who has been diagnosed with MND.

I don’t normally suggest that you use your computer to find out more about the world, but to listen to Daniher talk about MND is very powerful.

Simply type Fight MND — Neale Daniher 2019 into your search engine.

When I was asked several weeks ago to take the slippery dip into the icy pool, I had no hesitation.

The person doing the asking was Mark Houston — a pretty handy footballer himself.

He’s been a captain, a coach, and a president of the Chapman Valley Football Club, where he is now a life member.

“Tex”, as he is most often called, told some of us his mother had been diagnosed with MND, which currently has no cure.

He chose 12 Chapman Valley Football Club identities to take the plunge.

For me to stand with Kevin and Jimmy Mazzuchelli, Adrian Bartlett, Kasey Green, Tim Pawelski, Michael Farrell, Paul and Kayley Sorensen, Glenn Barndon, Rose Gray and Dezi Webb was a total and absolute honour.

All of them are massively good Chapman Valley people, and for me to be included with them was fantastic.

For good measure, because the Valley were playing their old rivals Northampton on the day, Craig Simkin and Damian Harris were added to the mix.

As someone said, it was like going into the coldest sheep dip imaginable.

I thought about going down the slide for weeks, in my mind imagining the horror of being totally frozen.

But in the end it wasn’t too bad, even if I had to do it twice because my Tarzan-like body didn’t slide far enough the first time.

And I’ll be proud to do it next year if I make the Fight MND team again.

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