Surfing legend Kelly Slater troubled by bushfire ‘fear and devastation’

Surfing legend Kelly Slater has joined the long line of international personalities drawing attention to Australia’s bushfire crisis.

The 47-year-old pro, who has visited the country countless times in his surfing career, took to Instagram to share his shock and sadness the images that have emerged from the ongoing bushfire disaster.

Slater posted an image of a kangaroo joey, which had perished after appearing to become tangled in a wire fence as it attempted to escape the flames.

“I’m not sure a picture could better sum up the fear and devastation more succinctly,” Slater wrote alongside his image.

“I hope there is a silver lining and important lessons learned from the ongoing catastrophes once the dust settles.

“One of my biggest fears as a kid was fires and ironically enough, my mom was a firefighter. Maybe one created the other.

“Hoping for safety and refuge for all my human and animal friends down under.”

Slater also requested followers leave comments on the post with links to donate to firefighting and recovery efforts.

Athletes uniting for fundraising efforts

Nick Kyrgios called on Tennis Australia to dig deep in the nations’s time of need, as bushfires devastate livelihoods and communities around the country.

On Friday, the governing body of Australian Tennis answered the call.

Krygios’ plans for a massive fundraising effort for bushfire victims has resulted in a tennis exhibition match set to feature some of the world’s top players.

The 24-year-old kicked off a flood of donations to the fundraising campaign from sporting names around Australia, including American NBL star LaMelo Ball.

Kyrgios floated the idea of a charity tennis match and Tennis Australia on Friday responded by announcing a “Rally for Relief” exhibition match on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday Jan 15.

Fellow Australian players Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Dylan Alcott and Samantha Stosur, among others, also vowed to donate money from their aces while the ATP Cup also got on board.

Big Bash League captains, Brisbane Heat’s Chris Lynn and Melbourne Stars’ Glenn Maxwell as well as Hurricanes batsman D’Arcy Short, have all pledged $250 for each six they hit in the competition.

As a mark of respect there will be no fireworks at Saturday’s Melbourne BBL derby, where Renegades jerseys will be auctioned off.

Former Australian baseballer Simone Wearne kickstarted a campaign to donate for every home run hit in the Australian softball championships and a number of WNBL players have also got in on the act.

“It is special to see so many athletes from various sports getting in behind the real heroes who are fighting to save lives and properties around our country,” Lynn tweeted.

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