Last Sunday Rhyan Grant took part in The Chappell Foundation’s Sport Stars Sleepout at the SCG to raise money for youth homelessness, as he spent the night sleeping on the SCG turf.
Grant set himself the goal of $4,000 to raise, and surpassed that total within days of donations going online. In total, Grant raised $4,760.
Hear from the Sky Blues’ defender on his experiences and what he got out of the night.
What made you want to take part?
The club wanted to play a part in it and came to the boys asking for a volunteer and I put my hand up to take part and said I was more than happy to do it. Just to sacrifice one night to see what it’s like was a pretty easy decision.
Were you pleased with the total you raised?
It was very surprising to reach my goal so quickly, I set myself the target of $4,000. I’d have been stoked to get close to it but I’d already reached it within five or six days, and we got close to $5,000 in the end which shows you a lot about the Sydney FC Members. If you look through the people who donated a lot were Members and fans, so a big thankyou to them.
Describe the evening for us:
It was a really well run night. It was pretty cool just to sleep out on the SCG in itself, but to do it with a lot of other athletes was really cool. To be able to meet them and mingle was great. The sleep itself was ok, I got a couple of hours which was nice. It was great to be able to talk to people from Armidale from a charity called Backtrack that came down and presented to us on the big screen, to have a chat to them and see what they’ve been through and how they’re helping was a great experience.
How’d you get along with the other celebrities taking part?
I tried to mingle with everyone, there were some pretty cool and high profile people there. I said hello to everyone. I knew who pretty much everyone was but I don’t think they knew who I was which is understandable. It was good to chat to everyone and find out why they wanted to be a part of it and their life story.
How’d you approach the sleep?
Everyone got given a couple of cardboard boxes to make a bed out of on the turf. A few people made a roof with one while others just doubled up with theirs on the ground. Everyone had a different approach but I just went flat on my back and put a roof on in case there were a couple of drops of rain. It took a little bit to get to sleep but once I was asleep I slept right through. It was a good experience for myself, to do that and sacrifice one night and understand what it’s like and how difficult it can be.
How much did the event open your eyes to the experiences of our homeless?
It was definitely not the best place to sleep, it really hits home how lucky all of us are to have a shelter and a warm, comfy bed. You take it for granted but when you meet people who have to do that every night finding a spot to sleep, it hits home. It wasn’t the best night’s sleep but you can’t complain because we’re very fortunate.
Would you do it again?
Yeah definitely, I hope they make it an annual thing. I’d definitely do it next year, it was a great experience.