Independent Australian bookmaker Fitzdares has announced that all its profits from the Australian Open this year would be donated to the Red Cross, which is currently supporting those affected by the serious bush fires that have ravaged the Gold Coast.
Fitzdares have made their announcement shortly after Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios pledged to give $200 to the crisis fund for each ace he serves up through the whole of the Australian season.
Speaking about their decision, William Woodhams, the CEO at Fitzdares, said that it was important for everyone to rally to help the country, and thanked Kyrgios for his initiative:
“The fact that the sports world has become so involved is a huge factor for our inspiration. If Nick Kyrgios hadn’t started this movement, it is unlikely we would have taken part, so we would like to thank him for catalysing our belated pledge. Better late than never.”
Since September last year, the bush fires in Australia have led to the deaths of 27 people, millions of animals and the destruction of over 10.3 million hectares of crops, forest and bushland.
Woodhams also called on the sports industry to do more to support charities that were dealing with the fires and their aftermath. While he admitted that his firm was only a small part of the movement, he suggested that other bookmakers should also commit to supporting the campaign.
But other sports stars have been coming forward to help. Legendary spinner Shane Warne has auctioned his baggy green cap, which helped to raise a million AUS dollars. Warne, who is arguably the greatest ever spin bowler in the history of cricket, donated the money to the Red Cross. Speaking about the crisis at the time, Warne said that everyone in Australia was in it together and it was important for people to find ways that they could help.