The Grassroots Sports Club (GSC) was established in 2008 by three members of a local amateur football club. The club was struggling to raise funds for an Under-18 team that provided a positive environment for a diverse group of young men.
Knowing that without this footy team many of the players wouldn’t have the means to participate in sport at all, the three men organised some mates and hosted the first GSC lunch. The event raised enough money to pay for club registrations, boots footy jumpers for the members of the team who required financial support. Surplus funds were donated The Mirabel Foundation, with the request that it be used to provide sporting opportunities for the children it supports. This marked the beginning of a successful partnership.
Following the success of the first event, the GSC committed to hosting a bi-annual lunch. 8 years later, the club has run nearly 20 events and has raised over $400,000. 100% of these funds have been used to provide disadvantaged young people with access to, with the Mirabel Foundation remaining the primary beneficiary. See more about Mirabel's work on our causes page.
Twice a year, the GSC hosts a ‘long lunch’ featuring speakers of great sporting renown. Funds are raised through ticket sales, raffles and auctions, and 100% of proceeds are donated to disadvantaged young people with the specific intention of supporting participation in sport.
The purpose of the GSC is to raise money to improve the social, emotional and physical development of young people through promoting increased participation in sport.
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Daniel Clohesy is an occupational therapist and lecturer at Australian Catholic University. He co-ordinates the boys therapeutic groups programs at the Mirabel foundation an organisation that assists children orphaned or abandoned due to parental illicit drug use.
The program focuses on role modelling, recreation and sporting activities for boys aged 8 – 12.
A very average sportsman growing up he has finally found his niche as an above average ten pin bowler, laser tag specialist, dodge ball champion and hide and seek gold medallist.
Co-founder and Committee Member
Shane brings over a decade of executive sales and stakeholder management experience to the GSC.
He has a particular interest in making sports more accessible to young people who are newly arrived to Australia as a means of breaking cultural barriers and fostering social inclusion.
A proud Tasmanian, ‘Crackers’ is particularly passionate about Australian Rules Footy and has enjoyed a long association with UHS-VU amateur football club in the lower divisions of the VAFA.
Co-founder and Committee Member
Stuart started his professional journey as an accountant before moving into financial advice and has spent the last decade working for providers of financial products. He now runs a team for a Global Fund Manager responsible for client relationships in the Southern Region of Australia.
He is a proud volunteer for Mirabel Foundation and believes charity starts in your own back yard, especially if it makes sport more available to disadvantaged kids.
As a sportsman he was a jack of all trades and a master of none, he still maintains today that the only thing that got in the way of his AFL career was a lack of talent.
Mark has worked in financial services for more than 20 years including corporate roles in senior management, investment management and consulting. In 2007 he formulated Altitude Private Wealth Pty Ltd a private client advisory firm.
He supports other charitable causes but is passionate about the work of the Grassroots Sports Club and working in conjunction with Mirabel Foundation to support disadvantaged children via sport.
Married with 2 daughters he is now at a stage of life where he believes that sport is best left to the young folk.
Rohan is a co-owner of the Coldstream Brewery in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley. Prior to founding the brewery, he enjoyed over 20 years of success as a relationship manager and B2B sales specialist with global technology companies HP and Cisco.
Rohan’s passion for socialising has seen him develop one of the professional networks known to man. He loves all sport and is an avid supporter of the Carlton Football Club.
His personal sporting highlights include a reputation as a stoic and sure footed opening batsman for the Korumburra cricket club and a two time runner up in a Phillip Island teenage disco dancing competition.
Co Founder and Committee Member
Robert, a qualified chartered accountant, is the General Manager - Business Services at Honda and is responsible for managing the financial, legal, people and IT components of Honda's business in Australia. With respect to the GSC, Robert is responsible for all financial matters.
Robert is an extremely proud member of the GSC and is a strong believer that sport has the ability to improve the social, emotional and physical development of young people.
Thorpy’s immense talent as an amateur cricketer and footballer was outdone by a remarkable ability to succumb to prolonged periods of injury. As a junior, he also won several ballroom dancing titles.