On Monday evening Sircuit Bar in Collingwood was transformed as it played host to Melbourne’s gay ruby football club the Melbourne Chargers as they celebrated their 2012 season at their annual awards night.
As players, wags and supporters donned their finest attire they were treated to a different type of Mad Monday, with the evening’s theme “Celebrating Diversity”, as they recognised the achievements of players and members and celebrated a successful season.
See our photos below.
October 8th, 2012
Hosted by Dean Beck from JOY 94.9, speakers highlighted what sporting heroes and teams like the Chargers were already doing to tackle homophobia in sport.
Among the speakers for the evening were Ji Wallace who spoke passionately about HIV discrimination. Ji is a PLWHA ambassador and openly gay athlete who revealed his HIV status in a letter to the media hoping his story could make a difference in the lives of others. Read more on him here.
Also speaking was Jason Ball, a young gay Yarra Valley Footballer who has openly discussed what it’s like being gay and playing AFL and has being proactive in calling on the AFL to address homophobia in the sport. Read more about his attention-getting campaign here.
President of the Melbourne Unicorns John Rosenhain spoke of how the Chargers were welcomed into their club and how this was one of the many ways the club had changed its views and approaches to become more inclusive for all.
Chargers President Sam Minter said that a straight Unicorn player told him after meeting the Chargers “If someone told me I was playing like a poof, I’d be proud of that!”
The Chargers are more than a sporting club, they raise awareness, work and play hard and stand up for homophobia in sport by simply being who they are and focusing on the team and the game.
Congratulations to award recipients:
Best Forward: Luke “Kylie” Chapman
Best Back: Mark Rowland
Most Improved: Joel Anderson
Best Tiara-smash: Neil Hay and Ben Lancken
Best Off-field Performance: Anton Brookes
Best and Fairest: Mark Rowland
Highest Points Scorer: Derryn Pert
Supporter of the Year: Len Kelley
Player’s Player: Stu Frost
Clubman of the Year: Neil Hay
President’s Award: Sean “Clippy” Knight
While the rugby season is now at a close and the Chargers are taking a breather they are still looking forward to the 2013 season as well as competing in the second Surf VS Turf Pub Olympics against the Surge Water Polo team.
A fundraising event held at the Laird Hotel on Saturday 20th October will include events such as arm wrestling, ab crunching with the return of ‘butt off’ and introduction of a new event, Condom Bombing.
Click below for details on the Surf vs. Turf II fundraiser.