Guys, girls face off in footy fundraiser
The Dampier Sharks’ Powderpuff football game on Sunday pitted girls against guys in a showcase game to raise money for injured junior player Angus Johnston. His teammate Jaxon Marriott, pictured, was one of about 50 guys and 30 girls who took to the field in front of hundreds of spectators showing their support.
The girls of the Dampier Sharks well and truly stole the spotlight from the guys in their club’s novelty fundraiser match at the weekend.
Hundreds of Dampier community members and local football supporters turned out to Windy Ridge Oval on Sunday for the Sharks’ powderpuff match, held to fundraise for junior player Angus Johnston, 15, who was seriously injured in a crash in Dampier last month.
The powderpuff format, an old Sharks tradition, required the men’s team to play wearing thongs, without tackling and while holding a drink in their hand at all times — spilling it costing them a free kick — while the women could go all out.
About 30 women and 50 men took to the field for an entertaining game and the girls pulled no punches on their way to a triumphant win — though no official score was kept and final estimates ranged from one point to several goals the difference.
Match organiser and Dampier Sharks player Dylan Leech said it was a deserved win for the women’s team which gave as good as they got and had played “absolutely filthy”.
“It was actually really good watching them sing (the Sharks) song afterwards,” he said.
He said he was stunned at how the powderpuff match idea had grown to draw such a large and enthusiastic crowd, including members of the Karratha Falcons and Kats football clubs.
An auction, sausage sizzle and drinks donated by the Dampier Mermaid also contributed to the fundraiser, which was predicted to have raised up to $10,000.
Several of Angus’ family members attended the game and gave an update on the 15-year-old’s progress.
Angus’ father Craig Johnston said his son was coping well and would be watching a live feed of the game from his hospital room.
“He’s in really good spirits,” he said.
“His doctors, physio and all the rehab staff are pretty amazed at how far he’s come, and they’re thinking he may come home sooner rather than later.”
Mr Johnston said he was overwhelmed at the level of support the community showed for his family.
“It’s really heartwarming to know there is such support behind us,” he said.
“There are people here who don’t even know Angus who have rallied behind him, and it’s really touching.”
He thanked the Sharks, other NPFL clubs and local businesses who had contributed to the fundraiser match.
A women's team player keeps the ball off the men during the Johnston powderpuff fundraiser.
The gals’ and guys’ teams add some extra height for a ruck contest. Photos available at westpix.com.au
A beer-carrying men’s team player dodges an opponent after his football.