Morton to take icy plunge in MND fight

Cameron NewboldGreat Southern Herald
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Mitch Morton will take part in the Big Freeze.
Camera IconMitch Morton will take part in the Big Freeze. Credit: Getty Images

AFL premiership player Mitch Morton has been confirmed as one of the special guests who will take the plunge at the Big Freeze at Boxwood Hill on Saturday.

The annual Big Freeze event, hosted by the Boxwood Hill and Lake Grace-Pingrup football clubs, has raised more than $200,000 in the past four years.

Organisers have set a goal of $50,000 for this year to fight motor neurone disease, a condition which has taken a terrible toll on their communities.

After 83 AFL games for West Coast, Richmond and Sydney and winning a premiership medal with the Swans in 2012, Morton has returned to his grassroots and is playing for Lake Grace-Pingrup in the Ongerup Football Association.

The 34-year-old said Neale Daniher’s amazing work with MND had inspired him to join the Great Southern fundraiser.

He is not set on what he will wear down the slide, but he hinted he might bring out his old Sydney Swans premiership gear.

“With all the awareness that Neale Daniher has brought to this, there is a real bond that all footy followers around Australia share,” Morton said.

“It is a very special event to be a part of, and as you get older you realise things are not about you but about the community, so obviously I’m happy to help out.

“If getting myself into some very cold water makes a few people laugh and have a smile, that’s great.

“Country footy down here has a great sense of community.

“No one takes a backward step once you cross that white line, but once the siren goes it’s about the community.

“I played a game in Geraldton earlier this year and they had a big freeze and Harry Taylor went down in a Geelong premiership kit, so maybe I can go down in the old Swans premiership gear with my medal.”

Others set to go down the slide include former AFL player Brett Peake, Caroline House, Arlene Irving, Jeremy Nelson, Emma Dawn, Kevin Augustynek, Tyson Prater and Casey Pinney.

Brett Peake playing for the Albany Sharks.
Camera IconBrett Peake playing for the Albany Sharks. Credit: Laurie Benson

MND has rattled both of the host communities, most recently with the loss of beloved Great Southern woman Penny Moir to the disease this year.

The Big Freeze will take place at Boxwood Hill Football Club on Saturday, and there will be live music, dinner and an auction.

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