FOUR WAFL club chief executives will take the Central Park Plunge in September, with one signing up before he knew it meant dangling off the 52nd floor of Perth’s tallest building.
West Perth Football Club’s David Crute, Perth Football Club’s Marty Atkins, South Fremantle’s Tom Bottrell and Subiaco Football Club’s Peter Capes will abseil 220m down the side of the Central Park building on St George’s Terrace to raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer.
They will join 296 others who will abseil from September 8-10 and donate money raised to one of four charities.
The WAFL four recently headed to the top of the CBD building for the first time to get a preview of what to expect on the day, with a couple commenting their nerves kicked in looking over the edge.
Mr Atkins admitted he did not realise what the task was before he signed up for it.
“It sounds a bit stupid; I was told it was a Central Park Plunge, which I thought was plunging into ice cold water, or something along those lines. I said ‘yeah no worries’ then found out what Central Park was and then what plunge meant,” he said.
“I have committed to jumping off a building that looks perfectly normal with stairs and lifts, but the need is the cause.
“I’ve done some abseiling but never from this height, done some bungee jumping, but when you go up there it’s a whole different ball game.
“Once you get over the edge, you’ve just got to enjoy it.”
For Mr Crute, it will be a completely new abseiling experience.
“I went abseiling many years ago, in Bickley Brook and down in Karri Valley, but nothing as high as this,” he said.
“Your legs get a bit wobbly when you get to the edge; I certainly won’t be looking down when we do it.
“But no second thoughts, it’s for a good cause, a small sacrifice for the greater good.”
Mr Bottrell, whose family was affected by prostate cancer, saw it as an opportunity to remind men to get checked.
“My Dad had prostate cancer so I was happy to jump on board for this cause,” he said.
“Fortunately Dad didn’t die of it, but it really affected him quite negatively for a long time so it’s not a great thing to go through.
“And it’s such an easy test to get done; we should all be doing it.”
Mr Capes said the abseil was an extension of the WAFL men’s health round.
“The WAFL competition every year has a round of footy dedicated to men’s health and we asked ‘what else can we do to support Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA),” he said.
“This was a logical extension of that.”
PCFA WA state manager Nadine Magill said prostate cancer was the most common cancer in Australia with 20,000 men diagnosed and close to 3300 deaths every year.
She said the abseil raised almost $1 million in the last two years for WA charities.
Central Park Plunge schedule:
Ronald McDonald House – 148 descents Friday, September 8/Saturday September 9 (morning)
The Fiona Wood Foundation – 52 descents Saturday, September 9 (afternoon)
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia – 32 descents Sunday September 10 (morning)
Cahoots – 68 descents Sunday September 10 (late morning and into the afternoon)