Rivals join forces for great cause

Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy got in on the AFL’s Big Freeze action this year, joining forces with the rival code for a great cause.

Contested by Melbourne and Collingwood each year on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, the Big Freeze is organised by the AFL in partnership with Fight MND, the charity co-founded by Aussie Rules legend Neale Daniher.

The fixture has raised millions for motor neurone disease research since its inception in 2015.

Named for the tradition of sports and media identities pledging funds and being dunked in ice prior to the first bounce, the match is taking place at the SCG this year amid Melbourne’s Covid-19 outbreak.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan, Geelong great Billy Brownless and Demons and Dockers legend Jeff Farmer were among the Aussie rules identities to participate this year, but the NRL supercoach also pitched in to hilarious effect.

As is customary, Bellamy dressed for the occasion, suiting up as Elsa, the protagonist from Disney’s Frozen.

“I have to give all the credit to Ray Hadley, he sent me a text this morning and said his granddaughter would love to see me as Elsa from Frozen.

“A big shoutout, too, to my grandkids, especially Billie. She really loves Elsa, so Billie this is a little bit for you as well,” the three-time premiership-winning coach said.

“I’m off into the Frozen waters”.

As the Storm are currently based on the Sunshine Coast amid Melbourne’s Covid-19 outbreak, Bellamy was unable to brave the AFL’s infamous Big Freeze slide that launches participants into ice cold water.

However, ‘Bellyache’ did the next best thing.

In scenes reminiscent of his famous “Gatorade bath” following the Storm’s 2012 Grand Final win, Melbourne players Cam Munster and Kenny Bromwich doused the supercoach with buckets of icy water.

Several Storm stars can be heard laughing afterwards.

Craig Bellamy dressed as Elsa being dunked with ice on the Sunny Coast wasn't on my Queen's Birthday bingo card 🤣

Good onya Bellyache for getting around this brilliant cause 🙌🙌🙌 #BigFreeze7

🙏 DONATE generously: https://t.co/ESxW7pttXApic.twitter.com/0yeHSySJiM

The Big Freeze fixture was conceived by AFL legend Neale Daniher, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2013.

The 60-year-old was among the football identities recognised by this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Daniher was one of 36 Australians affiliated with the AFL to be honoured on the Queen’s Birthday. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Daniher, who played 82 games for the Bombers and went on to coach the Demons from 1998-2007, has been named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his “distinguished service to people with motor neurone disease”.

The accolade is the second highest awarded by the Order of Australia and the highest received by an Australian rules identity this year.

“While I am incredibly honoured to have this award, we don’t need any more awards, we just need to find a cure,” Daniher told News Corp on Monday.

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