This year Brunswick celebrated the round with all our team captains from U16 to Masters wearing rainbow socks. Cr Sam Ratnam, Councillor responsible for Social diversity and reconciliation, tossed the coin at the start of the Men’s Vic League match against Greater Dandenong Warriors and presented the Best & Fairest medal after the game which was won by Max Kermonde the Brunswick Captain.
Penny Wolf from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission tossed the coin at the start of the Women’s Vic League 1 game against West Vic and presented the Best and Fairest medal after the game which was won by Tash van Velzen from Brunswick.
Camberwell Hockey Club chose an innovative way to celebrate the round by making its own youtube video. The video highlights various members views and opinions about the Fair go, sport project and what is means to them. They also asked the juniors to show support for the initiative by writing and drawing a club Muriel. Most children chose to draw their hand, put their name on it and write words like “respect”, “equal” and “support”. All men’s and women’s PL and PLR teams wore the rainbow socks in support of sexual and gender diversity in sport.
Peter Gourlay and Penny Wolf from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission were also in attendance to present trophies and medals at the end of the Men’s Premier League match.
Essendon Ladies celebrated FGS round with market stalls with rainbow bakes, rainbow jelly, books, plants, and all kinds of goodies. All teams who played at home wore different coloured socks with Fair go sport and ELHC written on them. The juniors will this weekend wear rainbow socks and share supper with the opposition. Essendon Ladies also used their IT skills to put together a youtube clip with their version of “You can Play”.
Kew Hockey club got into the spirit of the occasion by donning the rainbow socks and presenting Fair go, sport medals at their top league matches.
To celebrate Fair Go, Sport! MHSOB HC promoted fairness and equality by wearing the Rainbow Socks and carrying out presentations to the person that embodies these values.
Hockey Victoria’s CEO, Andrew Skillern brought the Fair go, sport message to the regional areas where he promoted the gender diversity message to the Wimmera region whilst joining in and playing with the locals. Andrew presented medals at the games to Players of the match who “upheld the true spirit of fair play” throughout the game.
‘Fair go, sport!’ Week kicked off in unfamiliar territory, in Dimboola in North West Country Victoria last Friday night. Senior matches between Nhill and Dimboola in both the men’s and women’s a fantastic introduction to the weekend’s celebration of sexual diversity in our sport. All senior Men’s and Women’s matches had the best and fairest player from both teams awarded with a medal which was a symbol of the associations support in providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive sport for the Wimmera community.
The Fair go, sport! medallist from the Wimmera Hockey Association were:
Dimboola Women: Annabel Askin
Nhill Thunderbirds: Helen Cannell
Warrack Women: Linley Arnold-Wardle
Horsham Highlanders: Lucy O’Connor
Yanac Women: Louise Bone
Kaniva Women: Julie Braisby
Dimboola Men: Nathan Jorgenson
Nhill Rangers: Mont Miller
Warrack Hoops: Paul Slater
Horsham Hurricanes: Stuart Hoffman
Yanac Tigers: Tom Cook
Kaniva Cobras: David Cole
Photos of the winners available via Wimmera Hockey Association Facebook Page athttps://www.facebook.com/wimmerahockey
CEO Andrew Skillern who participated in all the activities on Friday night wrote a short reflection piece on his visit.
Last Friday night I travelled to Dimboola in the Wimmera to meet with the Wimmera Hockey Association executive and introduce the ‘Fair go, sport!’ initiative to the Association. Home weekends in Dimboola now feature two senior Friday night matches which I was thrilled to be part of. In a commitment to the ‘Fair go, sport!’ initiative I participated in the Nhill v Dimboola Men’s match wearing the Fair go, sport! socks and whilst the socks look great, unfortunately the side I participated in Nhill were on the receiving end of a 5-1 loss. Not that that matters the Nhill Men fought hard for the whole 70 minutes.
The experience itself was just fantastic. Not only wearing the socks and proudly demonstrating our sports and my personal commitment to ensuring hockey is viewed as an inclusive sport for all Victorian’s, but also the advertisement that hockey is, when you just experience and take in the environment around the ground. Great spirit, fair play and the behaviour towards the umpires by the players and spectators were simply outstanding. I asked Association President Helen Cannell what she thought was the impetus to such a wonderful culture within the Association. She replied ‘we always get along, it’s what we have always done’.
On my drive home I wondered why is the experience so different between associations and codes of sport? Back in Melbourne I still don’t have the exact answer but what I do know is that we should celebrate the good work that our clubs and associations are doing in the community to foster safe environments for the community to come and enjoy the benefits of sport. I requested a video from the association in the coming weeks of their post-match ritual. It is incredible and such a wonderful demonstration of the inclusivity of our sport. I look forward to sharing the video with the wider Victorian hockey community in the coming weeks.
Also check out the videos Camberwell and Essendon Ladies Hockey Clubs have created.
For the ELHC Video scroll a little further down the page and for Camberwell Hockey Club's Video on Facebook.https://www.facebook.com/CamberwellHC
Please remember ‘Fair go, sport!’ week continues with this weekends matches.
Congratulations to all clubs and associations for their continued support of this round and the initiative.
Other Clubs will continue to celebrate FGS over the coming weekend.