Ad­ver­sity makes club stronger

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Jes­sica War­riner

BRAIN can­cer and di­a­betes have wrenched mates away from the Bel­mont District Foot­ball Club too soon, but the club is coming to­gether for a day of footy and fundrais­ing on Satur­day.

There will be ju­nior games and fun for all the fam­ily at Forster Park in Cloverdale, fol­lowed by the Jaden and JC Sports­man’s Night.

Funds raised from the events will sup­port the Cure Brain Can­cer Foun­da­tion and Di­a­betes WA.

The causes are close to the Bel­mont club’s hearts – their own Jaden Cur­ley passed away from di­a­betes aged 31, and Jason Craw­ford passed away last year from brain can­cer at the age of 45.

“Jason and Jaden, they were best mates, so we thought it was re­ally good to have this event in their hon­our,” Bel­mont Bombers ju­nior li­ai­son of­fi­cer Lee Searle said.

Jaden’s mother Heather said the event, which had held since 2011 to hon­our her son, brought up a mix of emo­tions.

“It’s a great re­union. All the boys, ev­ery­one gives you hugs and calls you mum… it’s a nice feel­ing. Bit­ter­sweet, I think,” Ms Cur­ley said.

Mr Searle said two medals would be awarded on the day for out­stand­ing par­tic­i­pants across all grades.

“The Jaden Cur­ley medal for best player on the ground, and the Jason Craw­ford medal for acts of courage and brav­ery, be­cause he showed a lot of courage with his fight,” Mr Searle said.

“Alan (Craw­ford) passed away in May this year, so it’s still pretty raw, but we’re go­ing to have an­other medal. Alan (72) was a life mem­ber; he used to cook the sausages ev­ery Thurs­day night and all the boys loved him. We’re mak­ing an off-field medal for a vol­un­teer who’s done out­stand­ing ser­vice for the footy club.”

Mr Craw­ford was Jason’s fa­ther and also passed away af­ter a fight with brain can­cer.

Mr Searle said the club’s mem­bers were a huge source of sup­port for each other.

“Over the years, it was get­ting eas­ier ev­ery year. It was al­ways re­ally emo­tional, but then with Jason, and Alan this year… it’s al­ways emo­tional and a highly charged night, but it’s about rais­ing aware­ness and try­ing to hon­our the guys. They were good guys in our footy club,” he said.

Bel­mont Ju­nior Foot­ball Club pres­i­dent Jeff Mullen said the way the club came to­gether showed the role a lo­cal sport club played within its com­mu­nity.

“It’s an ex­tended fam­ily… we’ve got kids that are coming through. As the ju­nior pres­i­dent, I’ve got 17year-olds that are leav­ing our club and coming to an adult en­vi­ron­ment. You don’t just want to send them pack­ing and say ‘see you later’,” Mr Mullen said.

“We know they’re go­ing to be looked af­ter.”

The events will be held on Satur­day, July 29, at Forster Park.

Mr Searle said about 200 kids would play Aus­kick, with Mark Walsh from Ac­tive Games & En­ter­tain­ment do­nat­ing bouncy cas­tles and other ser­vices. THE Jaden and JC Sports­man’s Night will kick off at 7pm, fea­tur­ing Colling­wood pre­mier­ship player Peter Daicos, Peter ‘Buzz’ Bo­sus­tow on MC du­ties and guest speaker Mark ‘Jacko’ Jack­son.

Tick­ets for the gala evening are $30 each, or $70 for VIP en­try fea­tur­ing a meet and greet and more.

For more in­for­ma­tion or tick­ets, call Sam on 0488 189 781.

Ac­tive Games & En­ter­tain­ment’s Mark Walsh, Lyn Craw­ford, Heather Cur­ley and Bel­mont Ju­nior Foot­ball Club pres­i­dent Jeff Mullen.

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