GLADSTONE'S CQ Mariners under-14 team has honoured its original coach Matt Downey by doing the Ice Bucket Challenge and raising money for motor neurone disease.

After finding out about Downey's diagnosis, the children decided the gesture would be a good way to show their support.

The challenge did exactly as intended, humbling Downey and bringing him closer to the players.

"It is overwhelming, I feel lucky and respected," he said.

"They are wonderful kids, unbelievable."

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Gladstone’s CQ Mariners Under-14 football team took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge to honour coach Matt Downey.
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Gladstone’s CQ Mariners Under-14 football team took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge to honour coach Matt Downey. Paul Braven GLASOCR

Downey ensures he stays part of the team, which has promised to support him.

He urged more players to join the tight-knit group.

"We are struggling with numbers and that is getting to the kids," he said.

The players had something to celebrate on Saturday though, showing support for the coach.

Rhys Cornielje was one team member to take part, and said the sport was second on the day.

"It was cold, but as long as he enjoyed it that is good," he said. Fellow team member Jarron Dowson said he did not feel the cold.

The Under-14 team members show their support by taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The Under-14 team members show their support by taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

"It was fine because I knew the donations were going to Matt," he said.

"It is something I really wanted to be a part of."

Another player, Alex Pager, said the challenge was over but Downey would continue to be helped by his team.

"It was amazing, an amazing day," he said.

"Lots of people came to see the games and to support Matt. It will keep going on."



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