Adversity makes club stronger
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.