After the devastating loss of much-loved coach and friend Karl Jacka last month, the Rutherglen Cats remain determined to give their 2017 season everything they’ve got.
Training has started and the football netball club is set to not only make an impact on the field and courts this season, but off it as well.
In round six the Rutherglen Cats will host the Wahgunyah Lions at Barkly Park and the Cats have chosen to dedicate that round to a cause close to their hearts, cancer awareness.
The Free Press spoke to Dianne and Wayne Milthorpe, who have been assisting the committee in organising the event, and said they were really looking forward to making the day a memorable one for all.
“An estimated 128,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year and with a figure this high it is inevitable that we have all, at some point, been affected by this disease whether it be a friend or relative,” Wayne said.
“The Rutherglen Football and Netball Club feel it is important now, more than ever, to bring awareness to everyone.
“Cancer does not discriminate by age, race, or gender and as a community and a club we really need to be united in the fight.”
The club has successfully run a pink ladies day fundraiser for the last seven years, which has helped raise more than $20,000 for cancer research and support.
“Our pink ladies day fundraisers have been really successful and great for cancer awareness,” Dianne said.
“But this year, we wanted to go one better and dedicate not just a small portion of the day to cancer awareness, but dedicate our entire round.
“We have some really great things planned and with the funds raised we hope to approach the Albury Wodonga Cancer Centre to make sure our funds go to supporting local families affected by cancer.
“If anyone would like to come on the committee they are most welcome or just donate an item for the raffle then please contact myself on 0410 061 864 or Annette on 0418 264 325.”
The day will also incorporate their annual high tea, as well as a jumping castle and face painting for the children to enjoy.
The Rutherglen senior football teams will be wearing specially designed football jumpers in dedication not only to cancer awareness, but also to loved ones who have survived and members of families and the community who were not able to win their battle.
The jumpers will be lavender in colour, which is the general colour associated with cancer awareness and sport a ruby trim, the colour that represents cancer carers.
Wayne said the jumpers would also feature every ribbon associated with the different forms of cancer.
“The football jumper to be worn in our cancer awareness round is designed not only to bring to light each type of the disease, but it will also hold the names of 300 people directly affected by cancer,” he said.
“You can secure the name of your loved one lost, or courageous survivor, with a $20 donation and at the conclusion of the game a full set of senior jumpers will also be auctioned off to the highest bidders in an effort to raise further funds for cancer awareness.
“Throughout his journey Karl always said that his cancer was bigger than him and always made the time to help the cause as a whole and we will continue to support him in this and carry on his legacy.”
If you wish to purchase a place on the specially designed jumpers for the name of someone lost, battling or a survivor of cancer visit the Rutherglen Newsagency or message the Rutherglen Cats Facebook page.
Payments and names will also be taken at the first home game of the 2017 season on April 8 against Thurgoona and all names will need to be confirmed by this date.
There is also a form available at the Rutherglen newsagents to complete and enclose your payment in an envelope.
The committee has asked donators to not delay in securing their loved one’s place on the jumper as numbers are limited.