AFL’s Big Day Off tickets soaring in lead up to June 30 deadline

AFL’s Big Day Off tickets soaring in lead up to June 30 deadline

Tickets are selling fast in support of people with spinal cord injury

By Susan Wood

For myself, my spinal cord injury happened during my birth when I had a freak stroke. There was nothing my mother nor father could have done to prevent it and I’ve gone from callipers and walking sticks to a wheelchair full time (for the better). It has been a mountain to climb, but for many people their spinal cord injuries happen during traumatic accidents, and their world gets turned upside down very, very quickly.

The inspiration behind the Big Day Off, James McQuillan, and Big Day Off ambassador Alex McKinnon, both sustained sudden, chronic injuries while playing football, both have been left with quadriplegia as a result.

The young man who inspired the Big Day Off, James McQuillan, and family

Having a spinal cord injury isn’t limited to ending up in a wheelchair. In fact, in a lot of respects that could be the least of the physical problems facing over 15,000 people with a spinal cord impairment or injury. A lot of internal disabilities, often not freely talked about, are a major issue. All in all it’s estimated that the national, direct cost of spinal cord injury is over $2 billion a year. From experience, the upkeep for each individual with an injury is actually exhausting.

The involvement of organisations like the AFL, and the many other amazing businesses that have registered for the Big Day Off, is invaluable in helping to provide this support, and provide hope that one day soon we will see a cure for the condition.

Since I started writing this, the AFL has gone over the 100 ticket mark, which is tremendous news! Each ticket (only $5 each) goes toward supporting people with spinal cord injury in their daily life and spinal cord injury research to one day find a cure. This includes investigating new technologies to assist people with varying spinal injuries, and with the rate that science is catching up to disability, in the near future we will have the ability to reverse spinal cord injury altogether.

Gillon McLachlan, Chief Executive Officer of the AFL addresses the media after the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal cleared 34 past and present Essendon players at AFL House, Melbourne on March 31, 2015. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Gillon McLachlan, Chief Executive Officer

Australian Football League CEO, Gillon McLachlan, says,

“The AFL is proud to support James McQuillan and the Big Day Off initiative, a fun and easy way for businesses and staff to work together to support Australians with spinal cord injuries. 

At just 20 years of age, James sustained a serious spinal cord injury during a football match in 2014 while playing with the Albury Tigers. Inspired by his resilience, the AFL is committed to supporting the Big Day Off and helping to raise money so people like James can overcome the day-to-day challenges of living with a spinal injury.”

The Big Day Off raffle is being drawn on 1st July, so get in quick to buy your tickets to win a day off, you’ll also be helping thousands of Australians with a spinal cord injury.

Want to get involved but your business isn’t registered? You can register your businessmake a tax-deductible donation or nominate your boss to participate today in just a few clicks.

Buy my Big Day Off tickets


SelfieSusan Wood –  Is an artist, blogger and part-time volunteer with Spinal Cord Injuries Australia and the Big Day Off. Self described ‘Sydney/Blue Mtns Painter•Illustrator•TV Watcher•Podcaster of Arts•Skull, Geek Enthusiast•Art Blogger•Ethnically Confusing Filipino Face’

Susan can be found on Instagram: @swoodmakesart and via her website: