ROKEWOOD-CORINDHAP is saying a profound “no” to racism.
The Grasshoppers are tackling the issue head-on as they look to eradicate the problem from football, netball and the wider community.
And it is senior footballer Aaron Clarke that is leading the charge.
Clarke was the target of a racial slur during a Central Highlands Football League clash against Smythesdale last year. As a result of the incident, the Bulldogs banned the offending person from club games.
The two teams meet again on Saturday, May 31, where the Grasshoppers will raise awareness about the issue during a special indigenous round fixture.
Rokewood-Corindhap secretary Shane Anwyl said Clarke had driven the concept right from the beginning.
“It is something Aaron has been passionate about, particularly since the issue last year, and we’ve fully supported him ever since. We think the club will stand behind him and indigenous players,” Anwyl said.
Grasshoppers footballers and netballers will wear specially designed jumpers and dresses for the encounter, which will be kicked off with a range of formalities, including a welcome to country and traditional smoking ceremony, conducted by Aboriginal elders.
“It is something we will be looking to do every year. It’s not an issue that’s going to be up this year and then never rear its head again, unfortunately. We want to do it every year to keep that at the forefront of people’s minds,” Anwyl said.
“We want to take a bit of a lead in this across the league about what’s acceptable.”
Rokewood-Corindhap will host the round seven clash following this weekend’s state country championships bye.