Startin's charity challenge

Andrew Startin - impersonations

A Benalla cricketer's alcohol-free year

YOU might recognise Andrew Startin from his impressions of Australian sport commentators.

He is used to making everyone else laugh.

But what he is doing this year is no laughing matter.

Startin has vowed to have an alcohol-free year.

The Benalla District Cricket Association player has decided to not drink a drop of alcohol all in the name of charity.

Startin is aiming to raise $20,000 for Motor-Neurone Disease.

It is a disease that involves the nerve cells failing to work which in some cases means you can’t walk, talk or swallow.

“It is a hideous disease that is basically a five-year death sentence once diagnosed,” Startin said.  

“It is something we can hopefully raise some good money for and eventually down the track can eradicate.

“Hopefully we can find a cure soon so those that do get diagnosed with it can have a prospect of living some-sort of a life.”

Startin said raising awareness of Motor-Neurone Disease was something he felt passionately about.

“I lost my uncle a couple of years ago to it, he was far too young and also a good mate of mine,” he said.  

“When I decided to have an alcohol-free year I thought I may as well have a good cause to raise money for at the same time.

“Motor-Neurone Disease is close to my heart so I decided to raise money.”

Startin, who has been competing in Bendigo for Country Week for about 16 years, said staying off alcohol was a hard task.

“Like anyone else that plays Country Week cricket you play because you love it, you love cricket,” he said.  

“The boys enjoy getting together after the game and having a good time together and enjoying each other’s company.

“Everyone takes a week off work.

“You want to make sure you enjoy yourself both on and off the field.

“You try your hardest to go out and win the game but after the game we go out and enjoy ourselves.

“While going out with the lads it is quite a hard task to sit back and watch them go through the paces and enjoy themselves having a drink.” 

Startin said about $1500 had already been raised this year. 

"I do have some tins that I am rattling around Country Week this week," he said. 

"I am asking all the opposition teams to donate and they have been happy to.

"We are well on track to make it to $20,000."

Startin said if anyone wanted to make a donation or wanted to find out more about his challenge they could visit  

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