“If I can put a smile on a kid’s face when they are going through a tough time, then that is enough for me to keep doing it.”

That’s the mantra of Fremantle midfielder Caleb Serong, and one of the driving factors behind his decision to approach the Club to become a Starlight ambassador.

Earlier this year, Serong, alongside teammate Lloyd Meek, reached out to the Fremantle Community team to ask how they could be greater involved in the upcoming Starlight Purple Haze Game, proudly presented by South32.

A special occasion this Saturday against GWS, the game marks 20 years of involvement between the Starlight Foundation and the Fremantle Dockers – and Serong just wants to be a part of it.

“I just want to show my gratitude and try to help out in any way I can, and I think we have got a really good platform to do that,” Serong told SportFM Breakfast.

“I’m really excited to see what this weekend looks like, whether I’m playing or not I just want to be involved as much as I can and give back to these kids that are going through a really tough time.”

The young midfielder has watched on over the past few years, as the impacts of Covid-19 have led to the players being unable to conduct hospital visits and see firsthand the challenges that Starlight children face each and every day.

The 21-year-old said that the opportunity to bring back former Starlight wish kids in this weekend’s celebration of the 20th annual Starlight Purple Haze Game, was something he was looking forward to. 

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“The Purple Haze game over the last couple of years hasn’t been what the Club or what anybody has really wanted it to be with Covid,” Serong said.

“This year being 20 years, it is an amazing opportunity for the Club, we are going to bring back some Starlight wish kids from over the last 20 years to come to the game, which is going to be really exciting.”

Serong said he feels fortunate that his friends and family have not had to go through similar ordeals in their lives, but that the Club’s involvement with Starlight has offered a greater perspective.

“It’s about helping those kids out, and I think I’m really lucky that my family or anyone I’ve known hasn’t really gone through anything that these kids are going through,” Serong said.

“The most rewarding part for us, looking at it from a selfish point of view, is you get such an amazing feeling from seeing how you can affect these kids lives.

“I love that side of things. I’m really excited to meet some of the wish kids on the weekend which I wasn’t at the Club for and see how the Club and certain players have affected their lives.”

Fremantle defender Alex Pearce echoed Serong’s sentiment in a media conference on Wednesday morning ahead of main training, in which the playing group wore Saturday’s Starlight commemorative jumper.

“It’s one of the best parts about this footy Club, how we can give back to the community and have an impact on other people’s lives,” Pearce said.

“I think the work that we can do to help young kids that are going through a hard time and brighten their lives a bit is fantastic, and it gives a lot of meaning for the players outside of just playing on game day.

“A lot of money has been raised for the Starlight Foundation over the time as well.

“I think the players always really look forward to this round, and the fans really turn up and support in big numbers. We love this partnership and the way it will continue forward as well.”