Bendigo/Ballarat blood challenge tight

BENDIGO Police Inspector Mark Edwards is rolling up his sleeves and ready to take on the competition as part of a blood donor challenge.

Inspector Edwards and Senior Sergeant John Dalton from Bendigo police visited the Bendigo Donor Centre yesterday morning as part of the Ballarat versus Bendigo Blood Challenge.

The month-long initiative is police driven and is fuelled on the rivalry between Ballarat and Bendigo.

“It draws on the competitive nature between the two inspectors – myself here in Bendigo and Bruce Thomas in Ballarat,” Inspector Edwards said.

“Bruce and I are pretty good friends but we get a bit competitive – not just with giving blood but also with our crime rate.

“I always like to remind him that his crime rate at Ballarat is higher than mine at Bendigo, considerably higher.”

Bendigo beat Ballarat last year, winning the challenge for the first time in three years.

“We’ve got to hang on to it,” Inspector Edwards said.

He said this year’s challenge had already been well supported by Bendigo police officers.

“I don’t have to threaten them to come here, they come on their own accord,” Inspector Edwards said.

“I give them the time to come in – if it means winning the challenge. We want to win.”

Inspector Edwards is encouraging everyone who can to give blood.

“We’re coming up to that time of year, December, where our road trauma tends to go up,” he said. “So we want people to get in here and bleed.”

Bendigo Donor Centre community relations officer Shae Smith said each donation could save up to three lives.

Donated blood goes to help people with cancer, blood diseases, surgical patients, pregnant women, new born babies, and road trauma victims. 

“We’ve had a great response to the community challenge with many people making appointments to donate,” she said.

“However, we still have 120 appointments available during November. 

“Ballarat is currently in the lead by 13 donations, so please phone 13 14 94 or visit our website to make an appointment to donate.” 

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