The Big Freeze is back – It’s time to Beanie On, Play On

Big Freeze 8 beanies are now on sale at Coles, Coles Express and Bunnings stores nationwide and online at fightmnd.org.au.

Neale Daniher is calling on people in every corner of Australia to Beanie On, Play On at the launch of FightMND’s annual fundraiser, the Big Freeze 8, today.

FightMND Patron and co-founder Neale Daniher AO, who himself is fighting Motor Neurone Disease (MND) was joined by his family at the MCG to celebrate the reveal of this year’s popular Big Freeze beanie.

Now in its eighth year, the annual campaign sets out to raise awareness as well as vital funds to find effective treatments and a cure for MND.

As MND takes away Neale’s ability to be the voice of the campaign, this year serves as an emotive call to arms for all Australians to help lead the fight against this Beast of a disease.

“As the beast takes away my ability to be the voice of this fight, this year, more than ever, I’m calling on all Australians to come together, play on and help lead the fight against MND – with actions, not words,” Neale Daniher said.

“MND is relentless but so are we. By proudly wearing a Big Freeze Beanie, you’re joining an unstoppable army, united in their determination to fight back and marching as one towards a cure.

Together I know we can defeat this Beast. It’s time to Beanie On, Play On.”

All funds raised through the sale of Big Freeze 8 beanies as well as 10 cents from every Coles Brand Australian Pork product and 20 cents from every Coles Free Range Pork product sold until 21 June will be invested in cutting-edge research projects focused on driving discoveries towards a cure as well as care for those living with MND.

The six-week campaign will culminate with a huge celebration on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday (13 June) at the annual Big Freeze match between the Collingwood Football Club and Melbourne Football Club at the MCG.

The celebration will include the much-loved celebrity slide, see the return of the March to the G’ for the first time since 2019 and a yet-to-be-announced global musical act.

FightMND CEO Dr. Fiona McIntosh recognised the important role of the Australian public in their ongoing enthusiasm for the Big Freeze and the famous blue beanies.

“We know it will take people to defeat this Beast and it’s only thanks to the generosity of our supporters and committed partners in Coles and Bunnings, that we are able to make a real impact for people living with MND,” Dr McIntosh said.

“Every beanie sold takes us closer to a cure and helps give hope to people with MND – hope that one day, there will be effective treatments or a cure for this devastating disease.”

When you put on a Big Freeze beanie, you’re stepping up and playing on for Neale and everyone that has been diagnosed with this horrible disease. You’re showing people living with MND that you are with them and that you care.”

FightMND Campaigns Director, Bec Daniher also flagged her excitement at being able to celebrate the Big Freeze in front of tens of thousands of passionate AFL fans for the first time in three years.

“While MND is a brutal disease, we still need to find time for moments to laugh and cherish our time together, which is what the Big Freeze is all about,” Ms Daniher said.

“We might be opposing teams on the field, but when it comes to the fight against the Beast, the Big Freeze shows that we’re all on the same team, united in our goal – a world without MND.”

AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said he is looking forward to seeing football fans at a packed MCG on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.

“It’s always so inspiring to look out across the MCG to a sea of the Big Freeze beanies being worn by football fans during the much-anticipated Melbourne and Collingwood clash.

The important work that FightMND does with the help of the broader football community and fans continues to grow year on year and as an organisation we couldn’t be prouder to put our beanies on and play on,” Mr McLachlan said.

The famous, blue, Big Freeze beanies cost $25 and are available for purchase nationally at your local Coles, Coles Express, Bunnings and via fightmnd.org.au.

Kids’ beanies are also available exclusively online via the FightMND website.

FightMND’s partners are integral to the success of the Big Freeze campaign and help ensure that it’s easy to join the fight against the Beast.

Coles Chief Operations Officer Matt Swindells said Coles was delighted to be selling beanies in its Coles Supermarkets and Coles Express stores again this year.

“Coles has been a proud partner of FightMND for the past five years and we’re delighted to once again support this important cause with the help of our customers, pork farmers and team members,” he said.

“With an average of two Australians diagnosed with MND every day, it’s a cause that has been very close to many of our customers and team members. That’s why we’re incredibly proud to be a part of the FightMND Army and to help make a genuine difference to the people and families impacted by this horrible disease.”

Bunnings Director of Operations, Ryan Baker said that Bunnings was excited to be supporting the Big Freeze campaign for the fourth year running.

“Our team and customers continue to get behind the campaign year after year, proudly donning their beanies to support the fight against the Beast.

We’re humbled to be a part of the FightMND Army and look forward to coming together for Big Freeze 8 to ‘Beanie On, Play On’ and help raise vital funds and awareness for MND,” Mr Baker said.

Purchase your Big Freeze beanie or make a donation and help find a cure for MND.