WHEN it comes to sporting codes backing each other, there is no closer bond than Warilla-Lake South Gorillas rugby league club and Lake Illawarra Cricket Club.
The Gorillas and Lakers will combine in a major way on Friday, February 28, when the clubs co-host a Sportsman's Luncheon, boasting a list of guest speakers that would make any club arranging an event like this green with envy.
Former Australian, NSW, Penrith and Dragons centre Ryan Girdler; former WCT surfer Mick Lowe; former Australian Test batsman Greg Ritchie as well as current MMA fighter and former Gorilla Alex 'The Hulk' Volkanovski will be among the guest speakers.
Gorillas president Don Kane said his club was delighted to be combining with the Lakers to host the event and said the clubs have close ties, despite playing different sports.
"The day was the brainchild of our reserve grade manager Clay Girdler, who suggested the event last year, but we held off until this time of year as it is just before our season starts and leading up to the Lakers' semi-finals in South Coast Cricket," Kane said.
"It only made sense to combine the day as we share the same supporter base. Many of our committee are involved with both clubs and players from both clubs are always at each other's games.
"It is also better to make it one big day instead of two smaller ones as far as the clubs are concerned."
Kane paid tribute to Ritchie for his efforts to attend, as he has another commitment that night in Adelaide.
"He was so keen to come to our day he is getting dropped at Albion Park airport after his appearance, getting a helicopter to Sydney then catching a plane to Adelaide.
"That's some commitment and something we really appreciate."
Kane said interest in the day, to be held at Warilla Bowls and Recreation Club, had been high.
Tickets are $115 a head which covers meal, drinks and entertainment, while there will also be an auction, run by special guest Alex Volkanovski.
Tickets will not be sold at the door.
"'Volko' really has some talent in this field," Kane said. "Last year at a Gorillas' function he sold an autographed mug, worth around $3 for $70 - and the guy was one of his mates too."
"It's great to see clubs getting together like this and it should be a great day for both of us," Lakers secretary Brendan White said.
For bookings, phone Brendan White on 0427 123 801 or Don Kane on 0434 800 084.