More than 200 CEOs from across Brisbane have registered to participate in this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout Brisbane 2018 which will be held at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Thursday 21 June.

Among them are two of Queensland’s top sporting executives in Brisbane, Brisbane Bullets General Manager Richard Clarke and Netball Queensland CEO Catherine Clark. Both sporting leaders were united in their view that sporting organisations have a responsibility to help the communities in which they operate. “We only exist because of the communities we’re a part of and the people that support us, in particular sports clubs have a real necessity to give back to those communities and be an active partner in supporting things that are important to those communities,” Richard said.

The Bullets GM said he was inspired to take part in this year’s CEO Sleepout through the basketball club’s relationship with the Brisbane Youth Association. “We worked with a lot of young people that have encountered homelessness for various reasons, we had some sessions with those kids coming into our trainings and having them do on court sessions with our players,” Richard said. “You realise as a sporting organisation you have an ability to influence and to give people opportunities they may not have had, so personally I wanted to get involved in the CEO Sleepout through that experience, because I’ve come to see it (homelessness) as an increasing problem in Australia and in Brisbane in particular and just that people can come into that situation for a variety of different reasons that are outside of their ability to change or influence.”

Catherine said the event is a way to bring the community together to help tackle the growing issue of homelessness. “Homelessness can only be solved by igniting our sense of community and helping those who, for whatever reason, need our connection more than ever,” she said. “Through the CEO Sleepout I can raise funds which will help those most vulnerable in our communities. The funds we raise will provide our homeless with vital food and accommodation as well as education, counselling and employment services. These services are critical to building a sense of connection for those who are without a home – connection through conversation, support and the services they need to address their unique circumstances.”

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