Prized Warrnambool football recruit and former North Melbourne midfield star Ben Cunnington swapped the Sherrin for golf clubs on Friday for a cause close to his heart.
The 32-year-old, alongside fellow highly-rated Blues signing Aaron Black and coach Dan O'Keefe, tackled 72 holes at Warrnambool Golf Club on December 8, 2023, to raise awareness and vital funds for the Cancer Council as part of The Longest Day challenge.
Cunnington overcame two bouts of testicular cancer during his glittering AFL career and is an ambassador for the challenge.
The trio teed off bright and early at 5.45am and were in good spirits after completing 27 holes in four hours.
"So far so good," Cunnington told The Standard.
"First round we all shot in the 30s - stableford points - so a good first round but the main reason is to raise awareness and some funds for cancer research and a cancer-free future."
Cunnington highlighted the prevalence of cancer and why it was important to raise awareness and money for research.
"Obviously with my background (it's close to my heart) but they reckon one-in-two people before 85 will be diagnosed with cancer, so it's going to affect a lot of people," he said.
"So the more people can get behind it the better off we'll be for the future in handling these situations.
"72 holes is obviously a fair effort so we're just trying to raise some awareness and do our bit for a cancer-free future and for research."
O'Keefe, a former trainee professional golfer, who was on Sydney's AFL list for three seasons, looked in good touch while Cunnington praised the form of Black - his former Kangaroos teammate.
"DOK (O'Keefe) is a recent pro as he tells us, he's leading the charge but Blacky's hitting them nice too," he said.
"So it's a good mix."
Those wishing to donate to Cunnington's fundraising page can do so at longestday.org.au/fundraisers/bencunnington10