IF one person walks away from the Pride and Inclusion Game at Hamilton with a sense of acceptance, the day will be deemed a success.
That’s the assessment from South Warrnambool coach Mathew Buck, whose Roosters will play initiative organiser Hamilton Kangaroos at Melville Oval on Saturday night.
“I think it’s fantastic for our country league to have something like this and it’s a credit to Hamilton for making it happen,” he said.
“Ultimately if you make one person feel a little bit better... or help them feel included it’s all worth it.”
Gay? That’s OK! organisation co-founder Charles Beaton, who grew up in Hamilton and whose twin brother Lachlan struggled to come out, and former club secretary Marcus Lowerson helped bring the fixture to his home town.
His organisation aims to give community groups the opportunity to send a message to young people that it’s okay to be gay.
Kangaroos football director Craig Pertzel said the Hampde league club was rapt to help spread a positive message about inclusiveness and acceptance.
“We were asked about it and jumped onboard. We thought it was a fantastic thing to do,” he said.
A VFL Women’s match has been included as part of a jam-packed schedule.
“It’s just grown and grown legs from the start, so to have Darebin Falcons and Melbourne Uni sides with I think 30 or 40 AFL Women’s players represented will be just fantastic for the showcase,” Pertzel said.
“From the point of view of raising awareness, that’s probably one of the key platforms that the game’s been decided but also to showcase women’s footy.
“It should be a really good day for our club as well to really put us on a pedestal and show what finals-type will be about in front of a big crowd.”
The VFL Women’s match starts at 3pm and senior football from 5.15pm.