AN outpouring of community support has ensured the White Ribbon Shield match is set to continue for years to come after a successful clash between Learmonth and Clunes football and netball clubs.
Aron Siermans, the son of Sharon Siermans who was murdered in her central Ballarat home in April 2013, presented the shield to Learmonth after the game.
Denise Siermans, Sharon’s mother, said she was overwhelmed with support from the community.
“It was just wonderful. If this campaign can help another family not go through what we went through, it’s just so important,” she said.
“We spent the afternoon at Learmonth. A lot of friends and family went out with us and we know the clubs because our boys played football and Sharon played netball there.
“It was so lovely to catch up with everybody.”
Each player in the games wore white tape on their arm to highlight the aim of the game.
Learmonth president Matt Hines said the crowd turnout was larger than expected and the promotion of the White Ribbon message was successful.
“It was a great day, plenty of people came. It was great to see the whole club take a part in it,” Mr Hines said.
“The boys are still talking about it today and what we wanted to happen, happened.”
“Now we have started the shield in memory of Sharon. Every year now there will be a White Ribbon event for Clunes and Learmonth when they play each other.”
Clunes president John Bedwell said the White Ribbon message to stop violence against women was in the back of every player’s mind.
“What we were trying to achieve was awareness,” Mr Bedwell said.
“Having Aron there on the day made everyone realise just how important it is for the community to support the cause.
“Aron was pretty proud to hand the shield to Learmonth,” he said.
“It’s a taste of things to come and the whole football community will get behind it.”
More than $3500 was raised in donations for the White Ribbon Ballarat branch.