Booting blood cancer

Eastern Ranges co-captains El Chaston and Bridget Deed. Picture: JED LANYON

Eastern Ranges Under 19 Girls co-captain El Chaston is pledging to shave her hair as part of the World’s Greatest Shave to help Aussie families fighting blood cancer.

The 19 year old said that while she loves her “luscious locks”, she loves helping people in need and has vowed to raise $4000 for the cause.

Chaston said she chose to donate to the World’s Greatest Shave as one of her high school friends had lost his mother to cancer while her friend and former teammate, now AFLW player, Mietta Kendall also participated in the cause during lockdown.

“That was a pretty confronting thing,” she said about her high school friends experience. “He did the World’s Greatest Shave for his mum and I thought it was a really good charity. They do a lot of hard work with the emotional and physical support to not only the people who have cancer but the families around them and those who are most affected.

“I thought, why not? There’s no better time. I’m always looking to get behind charities and organisations that help those who need it.”

In just a week the NAB League star raised over $2000, which is enough to aid future breakthroughs by funding a major blood cancer research project for one week.

Eastern Ranges head coach and former Collingwood premiership player Travis Cloke said it was “fantastic” to see one of his players making a difference.

“I love and encourage our girls to try new things off the field,” he said. “Obviously the World’s Greatest Shave is a great organisation and it’s a big commitment too for a female to shave her hair.

“I love it, she’s very open about how she’s going and wanting to improve our group with a lot of mindfulness. So i’m not blown away by it. It’s just El, and I’m really proud of her as an individual and a person as part of our community here in the eastern suburbs.”

Chaston aims to one day play at the highest level in AFLW, while outside of footy she is studying Environmental Science at Deakin University. She described the type of player and leader she sees in herself.

“I’d like to think that I’m a team first player. I love celebrating the little wins. I love getting on to those team goals and getting behind everyone and following the team’s values. Helping others achieve their goals, while trying to achieve my own.”

“I’ve always found myself in some sort of leadership position, because I always like to help out around and get behind everyone on and off the field. I think this is just something that is part of my nature.

Teammate Georgia Wilson shared her support for El’s fundraiser.

“It’s so great. She’s the most caring, supportive person I reckon I’ve ever met in my life. She’s always up for a chat, always looking out for other people.”

Chaston urged those to donate what they can.

“Please donate, however big or small,” she said. “It’s a really good cause to get behind and if everyone donates just a little, at the end of the day it’ll tally up and we’ll be able to make a big difference.”

Chaston will be fundraising through 23 March. To donate to the World’s Greatest Shave Fundraiser go to Eastern Ranges’ Facebook or Instagram page, or visit: https://bit.ly/2Mu2qcA