ST JOSEPH’S College and Sacred Heart Geelong, with the support of Leisure Networks, have teamed up to initiate a community footy event ahead of International Women’s Day that supports their commitment to promoting “Respectful Relationships” at school and in the wider community.
The Respect Cup event, to be played on Tuesday, March 2 at GMHBA Stadium, will see the first team of St Joseph’s play the first team of St Patrick’s Ballarat in a game of male football that will act as a curtain raiser to the female senior match of Sacred Heart Geelong playing Loreto College Ballarat.
The highest combined scores of the Geelong or Ballarat schools will see them win the inaugural Respect Cup.
The event aims to emphasise sport as integral to the local community and social connections, to celebrate diversity and inclusivity, to strengthen and enrich the community and the bonds between the schools, to celebrate the common interest of AFL football between the genders and to promote health and wellbeing.
It also aims to celebrate women’s achievements in sport, raise awareness against bias and take action for gender equality, with the games to be played only six days before International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8.
This concept will be an annual event, with the Ballarat schools taking the lead in spreading these same messages in 2022 and hosting that year’s Respect Cup. The four schools are working with the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust to run the Respect Cup, as well as Times News Group and Morris Finance.
Times News Group is providing widespread media exposure to the Geelong and Ballarat communities, while Morris Finance is supplying the home teams of St Joseph’s and Sacred Heart with new football jumpers that symbolise respectful relationships and International Women’s Day with a unique purple design.
Geelong’s AFLW side will be training immediately after the Respect Cup finishes and will be involved in the event in some capacity, while AFL Barwon will provide trainee umpires.
The curtain raiser between St Joseph’s and St Patrick’s will start at 2pm, with the main game between Sacred Heart and Loreto to start at 3.45pm.
GMHBA Stadium’s Reg Hickey Stand will be open for spectators from the community.