Yesterday, the Silver Jubilee Rockdogs faced off against the mighty Megahertz for the annual Melbourne Reclink Community Cup, taking home the cup for the third time in three years!
Final scores for the game were Silver Jubilee Rockdogs 6 8 44 v Megahertz 6 3 39.
The huge crowd of music lovers, Megahertz, Rockdogs and community radio supporters began to trickle in from 11am, packing out the grandstands by the time Uncle Jack Charles opened the game at the pre-game ceremony. This was the second year the game has taken place in it’s new northside home of Victoria Park in Abbotsford – this year with tonnes of extra food options alongside the usual plethora of facilities.
Of course, it’s not a Reclink Community Cup without a few on-field antics – just before quarter time as the ball was spending some time up the far end of the pitch, Spiderbait’s Kram and Ash Naylor (Even, Rockwiz) ran a drum kit and a couple of amps and guitars onto the grass, smashing out some tunes to inspire his fellow Silver Jubilee Rockdogs teammates.
Photography by Shane Barrie
In previous years the cup has been infamous for streakers – though this year the cheekier punters kept it legal. Members of local band Bitch Diesel ran across the field in comical nude bodysuits, taking bandmate and Megahertz player Ruby Koomen with them. Crowds were also treated to special guest appearances from local politicians; Greens Senator Richard Di Natale and Member for the seat of Cooper, Ged Kearney, as well as from Reclink Community Cup faithfuls; Tim Rogers judged the medals and Dan Sultan gave the teams an inspiring speech.
The weather was predicted at a chilly 11 degrees, but whether it was the sporadic sunlight through the clouds or the feeling of elation and camaraderie that settled over the park, everyone felt warmed. Especially so when Rory Burnside, Rockdogs coach and lead singer of Rudely Interrupted was awarded the Steve Connolly medal for Best On Ground – truly fitting.
Littered through yesterday’s program were some of Melbourne’s most talented musical produce; Rudely Interrupted, The Cartridge Family, Kutcha Edwards, Cable Ties and The Aints. Punters were also witness to a world premiere as the original song Rock Your Little Heart Out – a tribute to the late Malcolm Young of AC/DC, performed by a supergroup of local musicians – was played live for the first time to over 12,000 attendees.
Every year over $200,000 is raised at Reclink Community Cup events around the nation are used by Reclink Australia to produce and host sport, recreation and art programs for for at-risk youth, people with mental illness or disability, people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence, and those facing alcohol, gambling and substance addictions – creating socially inclusive, life-changing opportunities. This year was no different, selling out of team merchandise long before the day was over.
The much-adored charity football series continues at Brisbane’s Bendigo Bank Oval, Hickey Park next month, for the third face-off between the Brisbane Lines and the Rocking Horses.
For the first time in 2018, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has jumped on board as a national event sponsor, assisting Reclink to demonstrate to kids that “sport and betting do not have to go together. It’s about shifting the focus back to loving the game, not the odds” – Louise Glanville of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
Reclink Australia would like to thank all of players and community for their ongoing support and the event organisers Triple R 102.7FM & PBS 106.7FM, Broadcast partner C31, National Sponsors Young Henry’s and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, and Venue Partner City of Yarra.
Reclink Community Cup National Dates 2018
Brisbane: Sunday 29 July @ Bendigo Bank Oval, Hickey Park
Hobart: Sunday 5 August @ Queenborough Oval, Sandy Bay
Adelaide: Sunday 12 August @ Coopers Stadium, Norwood
Sydney: Sunday 19 August @ Henson Park, Marrickville
Fremantle: Sunday 9 September @ Fremantle Oval, Fremantle
Canberra: Sunday 16 September @ Gungahlin Oval, Canberra