MCGRATH FOUNDATION - The Australian Men's Cricket Team Ashes Pink Test 2022. (Picture: Chris Pavlich/McGrath Foundation)

Ahead of the iconic Ashes Pink Test, the McGrath Foundation is calling on Australians to help make it the ‘pinkest’ Ashes yet.

Ahead of the iconic Ashes Pink Test, the McGrath Foundation is calling on Australians to help make it the ‘pinkest’ Ashes ever.

The annual Sydney Pink Test is always a special occasion and since 2009, it has been a staple of the Australian cricket calendar. 2022 marks the 14th year of the extraordinary event at the SCG, with Day 3 renamed Jane McGrath Day in honour of the late Jane McGrath.

Today, the McGrath Foundation announced the Virtual Pink Seat campaign will be back for its second year thanks to popular demand.

The virtual seat campaign allows everyone, no matter where they’re watching the game, whether at home, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) or even overseas to come together and show support for individuals and families experiencing breast cancer.

The campaign also helps raise money to help fund the McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across the country.

Last year, the McGrath Foundation, Cricket Australia and the SCG came together again to turn the ground pink, raising a record-breaking $3.2 million with the inaugural Virtual Pink Seat campaign.

This year the foundation’s aim is for 240,000 Virtual Pink Seats to be sold, to raise enough money to ensure more than 3,400 individuals and families experiencing breast cancer will have the support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse this year.

The money raised from the Virtual Pink Seats is also integral in ensuring the McGrath Foundation can support the 55 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer every day.

McGrath Foundation Co-Founder and President Glenn McGrath said the past two years have been challenging for all of us, but especially for individuals and families experiencing breast cancer.

“The past two years have been full of uncertainty for us all, but there’s no doubt that for people living with breast cancer things continue to be even more challenging,” McGrath said.

Last year, restrictions were implemented due to COVID-19 and crowds for the Sydney Test match were impacted, but McGrath said the Virtual Pink Seats allowed fans to be part of the Pink Test despite the challenging constraints.

“Last year the Virtual Pink Seats allowed fans to be part of the Pink Test even though crowds were restricted. While we’d love to all be coming together to celebrate and unite in support like we once could, things remain challenging,” he said.

“This year no matter whether you’re at the ground, staying at home, ‘stuck in iso’, or watching from overseas, we want your help to create an Ashes Pink-wash by buying a Virtual Pink Seat and sharing it across your socials to show support for families experiencing breast cancer.”

The former Australian cricketer said “the Sydney Pink Test is my favourite time of the year”.

“There’s something so special about everyone coming together and showing the support for people impacted by breast cancer,” McGrath said.

“To me, pink is more than a colour, it’s an attitude. It’s a visual show of support and has the power to make a difference to families experiencing breast cancer right across Australia.”

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McGrath said the foundation’s expectations were shattered, and were blown away by the support shown.

“Last year we didn’t know what to expect and Australia overwhelmed us with support, buying 150,000 seats,” he said.

“This year we’re anticipating even greater support, so we’ve built a stadium with 240,000 Virtual Pink Seats. That will make this the ‘pinkest’ Ashes and help us ensure no one goes through breast cancer without the care of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse.”

McGrath Foundation CEO Holly Masters thanked Australians for their generosity and their continued support for the McGrath Foundation through the difficult times.

“Our McGrath Breast Care Nurses play a vital role in supporting people through breast cancer, particularly as they help patients navigate the additional challenges of the pandemic, and we couldn’t continue to fund them without the generous support we get from across Australia,” Masters said.

Masters also said the money raised from the campaign will ensure the foundation can continue to fund the 171 McGrath Breast Care Nurses across the country, while also placing more nurses around in communities that need them the most.

Cricket Australia has always been a huge supporter of the Sydney Pink Test. Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said the Pink Test match is always a highlight on the cricketing calendar, as it has become one of the biggest charitable sporting events in the world.

“We encourage everyone to get behind the campaign this year so that together we can make a difference and provide more McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses to the community,” he said.

Australian Test cricketer Marnus Labuschagne said the atmosphere during the Pink test is unlike anything he’s seen before.

“I love the fact that buying a Virtual Pink Seats gives everyone a chance to get involved in a great cause and experience what the Pink Test is all about while supporting people impacted by breast cancer,” he said.

MCGRATH FOUNDATION -The Australian Men’s Cricket Team Ashes Pink Test 2022. (Picture: Chris Pavlich/McGrath Foundation)

Labuschagne understands the significance of the event, and is appreciative of the work the McGrath Foundation does.

“I know everyone out there [has] probably had a personal dealing with someone in their family with breast cancer. I know I have, my grandma had breast cancer,” Labuschagne said.

“It’s certainly positive to know that there [are] people like the McGrath Foundation that’s caring for people with breast cancer and making their journey easier.”

The number one ranked Test batter said he will be purchasing a seat for his wife.

“This year I’ll be buying my Virtual Pink Seat for my wife Bec, it’s always nice to have her in the crowd and her in the stands. So it’s nice to know she will be there with me,” he said.

Visit pinktest.com.au to find out all the ways you can get involved in the 2022 Pink Test to support the McGrath Foundation.

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