Sport AFL All 18 AFL coaches to hit the ice in the annual MND ‘Big Freeze’ fundraiser
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All 18 AFL coaches to hit the ice in the annual MND ‘Big Freeze’ fundraiser

Neale Daniher Big Freeze FightMND
MND sufferer and former Melbourne coach Neale Daniher is front and centre at the annual Big Freeze at the MCG during the AFL season. Photo: AAP
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In the “biggest, boldest and coldest” Big Freeze to raise money for motor neurone disease, all 18 AFL coaches are set to slide into an ice pool at the Melbourne Cricket Ground next weekend.

In what is now the fourth annual fundraiser where celebrities and stars hit the ice, FightMND patron and AFL legend Neale Daniher nominated 2017 Premiership winning coach Damien ‘Dimma’ Hardwick as the first slider for 2018.

According to the FightMND website, Richmond’s ‘Dimma’ quickly accepted the nomination to raise money for an illness that has no known cure.

“And what followed was quite extraordinary when the announcement came through that each of the 18 coaches had agreed to slide,” it read.

Daniher confirmed all 18 coaches would participate on June 11 ahead of the round 12 clash between Melbourne and Collingwood. Both Melbourne’s Simon Goodwin and Collingwood’s Nathan Buckley will participate.

“It’s amazing, to have the whole 18 supporting the day is not only generous, selfless, it shows great leadership,” Daniher said on Channel 7.

Daniher, 57, said that when he was diagnosed four years ago in 2013, no-one thought he would still be alive.

“I’m alive, when I was diagnosed four years ago no-one thought I’d be alive, but I’m alive and I’m grateful for that.”

“I now have carers, I’m sort of struggling from the shoulders down and my legs are ok but I’m alive.”

“We have so many people in the FightMND army, we are making great progress, we’re learning about this beast of a disease but there’s so much more to do.

A cure has not yet been found but he says they’ll keep fighting and not give up: “We’re not giving up, we won’t give in.”

FightMND founder Ian Davis posted on Twitter on Saturday the 18 sliders would be AFL coaches who will all slip into the ice.

“This is an incredible show of support for Neale & our fight to find a cure for MND.”

Buckley said he would start training immediately as the Melbourne Football Club put out a call for costume suggestions for Goodwin.