Local football club rallies behind Pakleppa family
FOOTBALL: Nerimbera Football Club is throwing its support behind a Capricorn Coast family devastated by a fatal car crash on Yeppoon Rd.
The club will raise funds at its home games at Pilbeam Park today for the Pakleppa family, whose daughter Zara, 9, died in the two-car accident last Sunday.
Zara's brother Jamie, 6, was also seriously injured and remains in a critical condition in Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane.
Nerimbera's head coach Scott Thomson was the driving force behind the fundraising initiative.
"My mum Lee runs a day care centre in Cawarral and young Jamie has been going there for the last couple of years,” Thomson said.
"Mum has a personal relationship with the family and I took it upon myself to do a fundraiser to help them out.
"I put the idea to the committee and they jumped on board.
"Most people in the club don't know the family; they've just heard about the tragedy and the situation they're in and their assistance and support has been overwhelming.
"It's a simple idea that's been put out there and a lot of other people are making it happen.”
Money will be raised through a gold coin entry, as well as a multi-draw raffle and $100 boards. As well, $3 from every burger and $1 from every drink sold will go the cause.
On the park and Nerimbera will take on Central in the Premier League Division 1 and 2 games today.
The Division 1 team will be keen to keep the momentum going after they downed reigning champions Clinton 2-1 in their last outing.
Thomson said his players had taken a lot of confidence from that win, which was just reward for their hard work.
"I'm expecting a tough game against Central, who last week drew with Clinton,” he said.
"They are a physical side but as we did with Clinton, we just need focus on our structure and our strengths and we'll keep moving forward that way.
"I definitely want to keep the momentum swinging our way.
"I'm pretty confident if the boys play the way we know they can play they will definitely come away with a victory.”
Thomson said his talented young squad had been bolstered by several experienced hands.
"Michael Cay is definitely a big asset and we have another quality senior player in Israel Souza who is back at the club after a stint with Southside,” he said.
"Jimmy Mcintyre has been at the club for a few years but he's been interrupted with injuries. His pre-season has been good, and he's able to start the season at full fitness so that's definitely helped us as well.”
Today's games are at 5pm (Division 2) and 7pm (Division 1).