Reclink Community Cup – Canberra: Real sense of community

RECLINK COMMUNITY CUP

CANBERRA EDITION

Sunday 10th September, 2017

Jamison Oval

 

by John Baker

 

Sunday saw the first Canberra Reclink Community Cup and I wasn’t sure what to expect. A double dissolution? A dismal? A plebiscite? Or possibly, a survey (non-binding, of course)? The day’s music and game reinforced the belief the strength of a community benefits us all.

 

From the outside, Canberra can be seen as a soulless town, but scratch the surface and the community bubbles. One main aim of Reclink is to bring a sense of social inclusion and community for disadvantaged Australians. The Community Cup adds to this social fabric.

 

The 2017 theme for the national series of Reclink Community Cups, is ‘Streets of Your Town’, from the song of the same name by seminal Brisbane band, The Go Betweens. For Canberra, the theme could have potentially been re-jigged to, ‘Circular Streets of Your Town’, such is the layout of our suburbs.

 

Today’s match was between The Lime Stones and The Noise. The musician strong The Lime Stones were in the red, orange, and black jumpers. The media team, The Noise, wore red and white. The media on this occasion included radio, print, PR, bloggers, podcasters, and other forms of social media.

 

Walking into Jamison Oval two hours prior to the game, there was a sense something good was starting here. Numbers were low, but there was all ready an air of enjoyment and involvement. I saw some people I knew, some people I had seen around town, and others who were new to me, and to my new community.

 

The first people I speak to were Susan and Vivian from MILF Camp. Susan and Vivian are part of the cheerleaders supporting The Lime Stones and are funny and engaging. Perfect for the day.

 

Kath, Lisa and Jimmy are the people I know. Kath is mum to Lisa and Jimmy. We live in the same neighbourhood. I have seen Lisa and Jimmy grow up from little ones on skateboards to now being young ones in a band with their mum. The band, The Worm Burners, were first to open the entertainment for the day. Today was Kath’s first game of footy, but more on Kath’s achievements later.

 

Chris Endrey was a face I had seen around town, but hadn’t met. Chris was an important link in the Community Cup coming Canberra. He was also part of the organising committee. Chris is also a talented musician, and played with Kath, Jimmy, and Lisa in The Worm Burners in the opening set. Chris also has his own band, named Endrey. The gold coloured “compression” shorts suited The Lime Stones outfit.

 

Jayne Hoschke was another player lining up for The Lime Stones. Jayne plays ukulele as JAYNE. Jayne was wearing a pair of sunglasses which also appeared to be making a political statement.

 

Josh Pinn was a player for The Noise, who is part of my community, but I’m yet to meet so I track him down. Wagga is Josh’s home town and he made the 2 1/2 hour trek down for the practice sessions over the four weeks prior to the game. Josh is a mate I hadn’t met until today. It’s the community spirit.

 

The Noise had their jumper presentation at the Polish Club on Friday night. Fleta Page and David Pope were named co-captains for The Noise. Fleta plays for Eastlake and is a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald. David is a cartoonist with the Canberra Times. Coach of The Noise is longtime member of the ACT footy scene, Rob Kelly. Rob played in the 1990 Ainslie Premiership team with a young James Hird.

 

Dani Glatz was the coach for The Lime Stones. Dani also coaches ADFA rep squads and was a previous coach of the Ainslie Women’s Team. I was fortunate to be in the rooms when Dani spoke to the team and it was a highlight. Beth Monzo, from the band Betty Alto, and Chris Endrey are the co-captains for The Lime Stones.

 

Two more important pre-game talks were provided by John Ballis, CEO of Reclink, and Mark Ransome, Project Manager for Reclink in Canberra. The reason we were all here today is because of Reclink, and their belief in the benefit of community for all. John and Mark spoke to both teams in their own rooms prior to the game. It was an important reminder of why the support for Reclink via the Community Cup is so important.

 

The Lime Stones coach, Dani Glatz (2nd from right) speaking to the team pre-game. Co-captain, Chris Endrey right of image.

 

During the game, I was fortunate to speak to Mark more about his work in Canberra. What Mark does for the socially disadvantaged in Canberra is extraordinary. Mark changes people’s lives, he helps them become part of the community.

 

Prior to the start I wandered into the umpires rooms and spoke to AFL Canberra umpire, Bobby. Reclink contacted AFL Canberra and the umpire slots were filled within minutes. As Bobby said, he loves his footy and its associated community.

 

The Mixed Tape Chorus sung the two anthems. The important one, ‘Streets of Our Town’, and the other where “girt by sea” gets mentioned. Both teams provided a superbly coloured backdrop. By now the crowd, the community, had grown to watch the match.

 

 

The Mixed Tape Chorus perform the anthems with the teams lined up behind.

 

The toss saw The Noise kicking to the Belconnen Way end of the ground. The Lime Stones kicked the first goal for the match and led at quarter time 20-8. Some were playing their first game, some a few, and some many. Amongst all three groups were some who hadn’t played for a few years.

 

The Lime Stones extended their lead in the second quarter with Pete Lyon a notable player, and not only because of his green wigged hair. The Noise saw the ball, but it just wasn’t in their possession all that often. At the long break The Lime Stones had kicked 6.6 (41) to The Noise 1.5 (11).

 

Walking the boundary line, you could feel the glow, the happiness from the crowd. The knit of the community was strong.

 

Music, drinks and food were provided at halftime. The Noise also tweaked their lineup for the second half.

 

When play commenced for the third quarter there was a perceptible increase in effort. In footy analysis parlance, The Noise had strengthened their spine. Also due to the rule of males not being able to tackle females, The Noise changed their match ups for a better functioning side. The Noise kicked the first five goals of the quarter with Brent Ford being a solid contributor. At the end of the third quarter, The Noise were only 11 points behind with the scores being 55 to 44.

 

A match up on the outer flank with Telstra Tower in the background.

 

The last quarter was close. There was a feeling The Noise might get up, but The Lime Stones held on for a four point win, 8.10 (58) to The Noise 8.6 (54).

 

At the end of the game the Reclink Community Cup was presented to The Lime Stones co-captains Beth Monzo and Chris Endrey. Best on Ground players were also named. For The Lime Stones, Kath Hagan, playing her first ever game of footy, was presented the Matt Price Medal. Brent Ford was awarded B.O.G. for The Noise.

 

Kath Hagan was awarded the Matt Price Medal winner for The Lime Stones.

 

The Reclink Community Cup is more than a footy match. It is there to support and raise funds for Reclink Australia. Reclink assists disadvantaged people to become part of society, part of a community. For a community, the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. If one section improves, we all should benefit. We can’t have this lifters and leaners mentality. We can’t look down on, or implicitly denigrate, another part of our community to pump up our own tyres or inflate our own worth. We are all in it together. The community shouldn’t be stratified, or overtly at least. Human worth is equal across all levels. Reclink Australia is vital in this process.

 

The first edition of the Canberra Reclink Community Cup was an outstanding success and will only grow. As Josh Pinn said to me at the end of the game, it’s the best thing he has been involved in. It was being part of a community for the greater good. Walking to the carpark with David Pope we spoke about how strong the feel of community is in the footy populations scattered around the country.

 

Does Aussie Rules have a better spirit? I don’t know, but if other codes are the same, then we are in a better place. Reclink personifies the benefit, and need, of community and the positive effect it has for people.

 

By the teams coming together today to support, and raise funds for, Reclink Australia then the gain for the greater good has been worthwhile. Congratulations to everyone who organised and managed to bring the Reclink Community Cup to Canberra. Today was a success, next year will be a bigger success.

 

Written by John Baker

A member of the Footy Almanac community

To read other stories about the various Community Cup events CLICK HERE

Comments

  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Great report, great cause, great time.

    Well played Canberra. Well played John.

  2. Well done John in capturing the feeling of what was the start of something special on the Canberra calendar each year and for highlighting why it is so important to our community. Tim D Organiser Canberra Reclink Community Cup

  3. Excellent report, J Baker.
    And just look at those colours in the pics. Wonderful.
    Great initiative to take the Reclink Cup around the country

  4. Most enjoyable read JB about what sounds like an excellent afternoon. I’m with Smokie on the colours. Such Canberra skies.

    Congrats to organisers.

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