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CEOs sleep on the streets

Sport bosses help prevent homelessness.

The annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout is using sport to help put the spotlight on homelessness.

The annual sleepout – in which bosses swap comfy beds for sleeping bags on pieces of cardboard – raised just more than $10,000 when it began in western Sydney, and 12 years later it has raised more than $35 million.

This year the Sydney sleepout is bringing the heads of the NRL, AFL and cricket clubs to help raise awareness of homelessness.

So far, 164 CEOs have registered to take part in the June event.

Making his debut this year is AFL NSW-ACT chief Sam Graham, who also sits on the board for youth homelessness charity Ladder.

“I’ve been exposed to a lot of young people who are facing the challenges of homelessness and can see it really is a growing issue that Australians need to take seriously,” Graham told AAP at the event’s launch on Thursday.

Greater Western Sydney CEO David Matthews is also shocked by the numbers of young Australians on the streets.

“The statistics are alarming – 105,000 people are homeless every night and about 17,000 are children under the age of 12. That statistic is completely unacceptable and needs to be addressed,” Matthews said.

“Sport unites Australians from all walks of life and this is a brilliant opportunity to put homelessness in the spotlight,” Sydney Cricket Ground Trust chief executive Jamie Barkley said.

“It’s something that largely goes unnoticed in society and the trust is proud to help raise awareness and much-needed funds for the cause.”

NRL boss Todd Greenberg and Cricket NSW chief Andrew Jones have also committed to the June 22 event, which aims to raise $2.3 million for frontline services.

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