The Canberra Raiders will use their round 10 match against the Cronulla Sharks at GIO Stadium, to help raise funds for the Kato Ottio Memorial Fund through the online auction of the match worn jerseys.
The Auction is now live on www.allbids.com.au with 20 jerseys available for auction, including the final 17 jerseys worn in the Raiders v Sharks match on Sunday afternoon.
The specially designed jerseys worn by the players are unique in that the feature Kato's name on the inside collar, as the team continues to pay respect to their former team mate who tragically passed away earlier this year.
The 17 match worn jerseys will be individually signed by the player wearing it in the match and auctioned off online via www.allbids.com.au, there will also be a separate jersey signed by the team which played in the match and one signed by Coach Ricky Stuart.
All of the terms and conditions for the auction are listed on www.allbids.com.au/raiders
So far over $12,000 has been raised for the Memorial Fund and donations are still being taken via the Go Fund Me Page at www.gofundme.com/KatoOttioMemorialFund
More about the Kato Ottio Memorial Fund
Kato Ottio joined the Raiders at the beginning of 2016 and was immediately a popular and likable part of the Raiders family. He burst onto the scene at the Auckland Nines tournament where he was part of the Raiders squad, before embarking on a successful season in 2016 for the Raiders feeder team Mounties in the Intrust Super Premiership.
At the end of 2017 Ottio departed the Green Machine to take up a new deal with Widnes Vikings in the English Super League, however, he tragically passed away on January 9, 2018 while training in his homeland of Papua New Guinea.
Ottio had just completed a hugely successful Rugby League World Cup tournament for his beloved PNG Kumuls and had a bright future ahead of him.
The Raiders playing group and club has decided to rally together and help Kato reach his dream of helping to purchase his mum a house back in his beloved PNG.
The Raiders have already thrown their support behind a campaign by the Widnes Vikings, but have decided to appeal directly to their own fanbase to help make Kato's dream a reality.
The 2018 Raiders playing squad has rallied behind the cause, with Sia Soliola helping to get the support going for the Kato Ottio Memorial fund.
"Kato was one of the most humble and wonderful people you could ever meet and his recent passing has had a huge impact on the club and his former teammates," Soliola said. "We've decided to appeal directly to Raiders fans to help us make Kato's dream a reality."
Raiders CEO Don Furner said the Raiders "Kato Ottio Memorial Fund" would be directed towards Kato's family in PNG and encouraged the Raiders family to support the cause.
"Kato's passing was a tragic way to end the life of a young man with a huge future," Furner said. "The Raiders family is appealing for your support to assist in raising money to support his family."