LOWNDES DELIVERS SIX-FIGURE DONATION FOR CHARITY

The Supercars hero was chosen by the late Paul Newman’s charity to pledge the sum…

STORY: WILL DALE
IMAGE: SUPPLIED

WITH Craig Lowndes and the late Paul Newman in one story, this couldn’t be anything other than a good news story.

Lowndes, who steps away from full-time Supercars racing in 2019, was one of seven sporting personalities each given the opportunity to nominate an Australian charity to receive a $100,000 grant from the Newman’s Own Foundation.

The seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner nominated Mates4Mates as his charity of choice, a group that provides support and rehabilitation services for current and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force who have physical or psychological injuries as a result of their service.

Lowndes and wife Lara, pictured above with Newman’s Own Foundation president and CEO Robert Forrester, became official ambassadors of Mates4Mates last year, Lowndes carrying the group’s logo on his HANS device to victory in last year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“As sportspeople, we have the opportunity to set an example, whether that is being responsible on the roads or saying it’s ok to ask for support when you need it,” Lowndes said.

“Our veterans deserve support as they continue the journey of rebuilding their lives. Many have physical and psychological injuries as a result of their service within the Defence Force.

“They have protected us, so we need to look after them and their families.

The Newman’s Own Foundation was set up in 2005 by the late actor, racer and team owner to continue his commitment to donate all of the profits from his line of food and beverage products after his death.

Mates4Mates, which currently has almost 4,000 registered Mates and family members across Australia, will use the grant money to fund Social Connection Programs and to support the STAIR Program, which helps develop skills in emotional regulation and interpersonal functioning for recovery.

Four Mates will be given the opportunity to study a Diploma in Counselling and run the 12-week program for other Mates, covering a range of topics including emotional awareness, distress tolerance, changing relationship patterns, and compassion for self and others.

“Funding like this is vital to ensure that we can reach out to more veterans in need,” Troy Watson, Mates4Mates CEO, said.

“Mates4Mates was established to provide a support structure for those serving and ex-serving Defence members that need help.

“In providing opportunities for our Mates and family members to engage in our services through our Social Connection Programs and the STAIR Program, we can support their road to recovery and help minimise the struggles associated with transitioning.”

For more information on Mates4Mates, head HERE.