When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of Canterbury Cup NSW, staunch Newtown Jets supporter John ‘Trady’ Trad knew the club needed his support more than ever before.
The 2019 Premiers rely on gate takings to stay afloat and Trad came up with a unique idea to ‘Keep the Jets flying’ in these uncertain times.
The 55-year-old is well known among Jets fans for riding his penny farthing bicycle around Henson Park every time the team scores a try and didn’t see any reason to stop now.
If anything, he saw it as an opportunity to help raise money for the club and has been heading down to the ground every week to punch out laps for 80 minutes for the duration of the NRL season.
So far, he has managed to raise $4000 (which equates to 15 weeks, 465 laps and 279km) but has set himself a goal of hitting $8972 to reflect the crowd figure announced at every Jets game.
“The Jets mean the world to me,” Trad said.
“I've been a member for 21 years and I started off volunteering as a cameraman for the first 10 years where I filmed all the games and they used my footage for presentation nights and season launch.
“Then my camera broke I took my penny farthing to one of our games, we scored a try in the last minute to win the game.
“I jumped on the bike and did a lap around Henson Park because I was so happy then the following week I took my bike again and then every time we scored a try I did a lap and that's what I've been doing since 2009.
“I am famous for my penny-farthing exploits, so going to Henson Park each week for 80 mins and riding laps was a great fundraising opportunity to help ‘Keep The Jets Flying’.
“I did it because if we did nothing in keeping the message of the Newtown Jets out there they might die – so putting posts and messages out there on Facebook every week is keeping the Jets supporters, members & fans dreams alive.
“As the tattoo on my right shoulder says, ‘Bluebags Forever.’”
Click here if you’re interested in donating to ‘Laps with Trady’.