Melbourne Victory, Mariners to battle for Epworth ABI Cup

Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners will help raise awareness of Acquired Brain Injury and the community cost of road trauma when the two teams face off for the inaugural Epworth ABI Cup at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, November 7.

Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners will help raise awareness of Acquired Brain Injury and the community cost of road trauma when the two teams face off for the inaugural Epworth ABI Cup at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, November 7.

In a joint venture between Melbourne Victory, TAC, Epworth HealthCare and Victoria Police, the Epworth ABI Cup will be awarded to the winning team of the Round 14 Hyundai A-League fixture.

Melbourne Victory CEO Geoff Miles said: "Melbourne Victory is a proud supporter of TAC and the ABI Cup and we hope we can take the message about road trauma to a far broader audience through the Epworth ABI Cup."

The traditional ABI Cup, played between Epworth HealthCare and Victoria Police, will also take place at Etihad Stadium for the first time as a curtain raiser to the Hyundai A-League match.

The health care workers and police force have played a football match for the ABI Cup for a number of years as a fundraiser for the Epworth ABI Unit.

"We are thrilled that Melbourne Victory and the TAC are helping bring this year-s game to a much larger and broader audience," Alan Kinkade, Group Chief Executive of Epworth HealthCare said.

A fundraising breakfast will be held at Etihad Stadium on Friday, November 6, with Melbourne Victory Coach Ernie Merrick and Captain Kevin Muscat joining Central Coast Football Manager Lawrie McKinna and Captain Alex Wilkinson on an exclusive panel to preview the Epworth ABI Cup.

"We greatly appreciate the support of Central Coast Mariners through their participation in the fundraising breakfast to support the outstanding work of Epworth Health Care, TAC and Victoria Police in our community," Miles added.

The breakfast aims to raise much needed funds for critical equipment and technology for the Epworth ABI Unit.

Chief Executive Officer of the TAC, Janet Dore and Deputy Commissioner of Victoria Police, Ken Lay will also speak at the breakfast about their first-hand experience of road trauma and its devastating impact on our community.

There are approximately 1,200 Victorians who are living with an acquired brain injury from the trauma of a car accident. An ABI is most likely to occur between the ages of 15 and 34 with prevalence rates higher for males than females.

Kinkade added: "We believe that the Epworth ABI Cup is a good fit for Melbourne Victory given that they have a strong fan base of young males between the ages of 18 to 25. It-s this age group that continues to be over-represented in road trauma statistics.

"We stand united with our community partners to help give road trauma victims the best chance at life by raising awareness of ABI and by raising funds for critical technology and equipment for the ABI Unit at Epworth Healthcare."

The ABI Cup match at Etihad Stadium starts at 4.45pm on Saturday, November 7, followed by Melbourne Victory's Epworth ABI Cup match against Central Coast Mariners at 7pm. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster by calling 136 100 or online through ticketmaster.com.au.