Ash Barty among celebrities to take on The Big Freeze ahead of Collingwood v Melbourne game

Tennis legend Ash Barty was one of many celebrities at the MCG on Monday, sliding into a pool of icy water to help raise awareness for motor neurone disease.

Barty was joined by Eddie Betts, Rhonda Burchmore, Andy Maher, Jakara Anthony, Hamish Blake, Terry Daniher, Justin Langer, David Neitz, Bec Maddern, each in various costumes in front of a large crowd ahead of Collingwood’s game against Melbourne.

It was the eighth iteration of The Big Freeze, which first took place in 2014 – the brainchild of the charity FightMND, which was co-founded by AFL legend Neale Daniher, who continues to fight the disease.

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“It’s an incredible day, an incredible cause, and I’m so proud to be part of a celebration that only raises awareness for an incredible man,” Barty said.

“Neale is just awesome and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”

Dressed as Rafiki from The Lion King and with a Simba toy in hand, Barty dove down the slide and into the water below.

“I was hoping to have performed a little better on the tennis court, but it’s just the best day for the right reasons,” she said, while still soaking wet.

FightMND is aiming to hit $2 million in donations by the halftime of Monday’s matchup — and it surpassed that milestone in the second quarter.

“It is hard to think of a more inspiring person than Neale Daniher,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement, with the government donating $250,000.

“The work he has done for others in the face of a devastating diagnosis is truly remarkable.

“We are proud to support Neale’s fight. Every day it brings us closer to finding a cure for this terrible disease.”

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