SHARON Siermans’ legacy will be honoured this Saturday, as her son Aron presents the winner of the Clunes and Learmonth CHFL clash with the inaugural White Ribbon Shield at Learmonth.
Players will all wear white armbands, and the money raised from gold coin donations will go to the Ballarat White Ribbon Day Committee.
Sharon Siermans was murdered in her central Ballarat home by convicted sex offender Jason John Dinsley in April 2013. Dinsley was on parole at the time of the murder.
Sharon’s father, John Siermans, said the event would be special for the family.
“We’re flabbergasted by the support. It’s just incredible,” he said.
“Sharon played for both teams, and this event is just phenomenal.”
Clunes president John Bedwell said the idea came from senior coach Jason Hill, and was then taken up enthusiastically by Learmonth.
“The Siermans family have enjoyed playing in both our communities, and we thought it fitting we share a shield in honour of Sharon,” Mr Bedwell said.
Learmonth president Matt Hines said it was a good opportunity to raise awareness on domestic violence.
“Sharon played for both teams, and this event is just phenomenal.”John Siermans
“A lot of the footballers didn’t know much about (domestic violence), so as we’re putting on the armbands they’re asking what’s going on, and it’s a good thing for them to know what’s going on,” he said.
Every grade of football and netball at the two clubs will take part in the shield competition, with points from each Clunes and Learmonth fixture counting.
Ballarat White Ribbon Day Committee chair and CAFS social worker Bob Maika said getting community groups and clubs involved was key to stopping family violence.
“The White Ribbon campaign is about asking men to take a stand against family violence, so it’s fantastic to see these clubs running the event,” he said.
“White Ribbon is about community, and taking that message out into the community, and what better way to take that message out than at sports clubs, especially where young men and men gather.”
– With Holly-Claire Ward