Shepparton News - - FRONT PAGE - By Laura Briggs

Eight Shep­par­ton High School VCAL stu­dents have teamed up to sup­port Aus­tralian Invictus Games ath­letes.

What started as an idea for VCAL co-or­di­na­tor Danny Lythgo in March has pro­gressed to a joint com­mu­nity ef­fort.

VCAL Year 12 stu­dent Bran­don Stoll said stu­dents sprang into ac­tion with a goal of bundling up a ham­per for each Aus­tralian ath­lete com­pet­ing at the Invictus Games in Syd­ney this month.

‘‘The ath­letes are all re­turned ser­vice men and women that have been in­jured, so we thought it would be a good idea to help them and thank them for their ser­vice,’’ he said.

With noth­ing but an idea, Bran­don took on the role of lead­ing the pro­ject and started ap­proach­ing lo­cal busi­nesses.

‘‘Ev­ery busi­ness we met with were happy to help,’’ he said.

Al­though ner­vous in ap­proach­ing busi­ness man­agers, Bran­don said it all paid off to re­ceive the kind sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses con­trib­uted in one way or an­other.

‘‘I was a bit ner­vous ad­dress­ing such high-up peo­ple but they were all re­ally happy to help.’’

Bran­don said the group re­ceived enough goods to make up 80 ham­pers.

Four of the stu­dents in­volved, along with two school staff mem­bers, will travel to Syd­ney on Mon­day to hand de­liver the ham­pers.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to it,’’ Bran­don said.

‘‘It will be good to meet the ath­letes and hope­fully even hear some of their sto­ries.’’

He said the stu­dents were de­lighted to know the pro­ject would help so many, and that so many busi­nesses had jumped on board, pro­vid­ing goods, funds and even the use of a bus for the trip.

The stu­dents and staff will re­turn on Wednesday.

● The Invictus Games run from Oc­to­ber 20 to 27 in Syd­ney.

Thanks for sup­port: Shep­par­ton High School VCAL stu­dent Bran­don Stoll and VCAL co-or­di­na­tor Danny Lythgo with one of the 80 ham­pers the stu­dents will de­liver to Invictus Games ath­letes next week.

Sup­port­ing ath­letes: Shep­par­ton High School VCAL Year 12 stu­dents Josh Rin­grose, Bran­don Stoll, Jamie Wood­ley, Tay­lah Ca­vanagh, Loughlon Long, Pa­trick Hodg­son and Steven Mark.

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