The Matt Dufty Fun Run is an exciting new charity event designed to raise money for footballers and their families who were fined after Paul Vaughan’s famous house party.
The 5km event is a joint venture between The Frownlow Medal, NSW Police, the NRL and the St George Illawarra Dragons, and will be held in the streets of Shellharbour on the NSW South Coast on Saturday, July 10.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.
Dufty himself will headline the family-friendly event which takes runners through the same streets he used to escape police when they were called to the illegal party. NSW Police officers will also be on hand to chase runners and add another exciting element to the race.
“It’s tougher than Tough Mudder and more fun than a Colour Run,” said Dufty.
“You get to sprint through unclosed streets, between cars and past people stuck in their homes. Plus, you get chased by police so it’s a great way to run a PB. It was the quickest 5k I’ve ever run.”
Another unique aspect of the fun run is its starting time.
“The race starts about 9.30pm, because it’s easier to escape the cops in the dark – or at least I thought it would be. Any runner who gets caught by the cops gets disqualified, and the first runner to get to my house is the winner,” Dufty explained.
Parents are encouraged to bring their children to meet their heroes and role models. Also participating in the race will be Jack de Belin, Jack Bird, Josh McGuire, Tyrell Fuimaono, Zac Lomax, Josh Kerr, Gerard Beale, Kaide Ellis, Blake Lawrie, Daniel Alvaro and 2016 Frownlow Medallist Corey Norman.
“It’ll be a good hit-out for the boys, especially since we all have to miss one game through suspension,” Dufty said.
The mass suspension of players adds another surprise element to the event.
“We won’t give any prize money to the winners, because all the money has to go to the players and their families. But place getters in the open category will be offered short-term contracts to play with the Dragons so that we can actually field a team for the next few rounds,” explained a spokesperson for the Dragons.
The $1000 Entry fee to the charity event is tax deductible and will be donated to the 13 players at the party, some of whom have young families to support. Most of the proceeds will go to Vaughan, who lost his $800,000 contract and might never play first-grade football again. The remaining funds will be divided up among the other players according to how much they were fined.
The Matt Dufty Fun Run will be broadcast live on Fox Sports. For entry details, contact the St George-Illawarra Dragons or the NRL.