Umpires get ready to pink-up for big play

BRIGHT NOTE: Ballarat Football Umpires Association's Brendan Johnston with board director Richard Carroll, pulling up their pink socks to support the McGrath Foundation.

BRIGHT NOTE: Ballarat Football Umpires Association's Brendan Johnston with board director Richard Carroll, pulling up their pink socks to support the McGrath Foundation.

UMPIRES across the Goldfields region are preparing to pull up their pink socks and blow the whistle for a good cause.

Ballarat Football Umpires Association will wear the bright accessory on the field to raise awareness for the McGrath Foundation’s work to place specialist breast care nurses in communities across the nation, and to make every one more breast aware.

All BFUA officiating field, boundary and goal umpires will sport the limited edition pink socks for action next month – they have dedicated August 19-20 as Pink Socks Round – but are already starting to make a statement at training.

BFUA’s Brendan Johnston said the association aimed to raise more than $2500 in their campaign to support a breast care nurse in the Ballarat region.

We are hopeful that more than 250 umpires will be wearing pink socks recognising the amazing work of the McGrath foundation to support women with breast cancer

BFUA's Brendan Johnston

“We are hopeful that more than 250 umpires will be wearing pink socks recognising the amazing work of the McGrath foundation to support women with breast cancer,” Mr Johnston said.

Umpires will wear the socks to officiate across all AFL Goldfields football, including all divisions in the Ballarat, Central Highlands and Maryborough Castlemaine District football leagues.

Each umpire has purchased their own pair of socks for the fundraising appeal. Every dollar they raise supports McGrath Breast Care Nurses in providing support to families affected by breast cancer at all stages of their journey, from diagnosis through to ‘survivorship’ for free.

Ballarat Football Umpires Association make a statement in pink.

Ballarat Football Umpires Association make a statement in pink.

The McGrath Foundation has 117 nurses across Australia and has supported more than 54,000 families since 2005. There is demand for 79 more McGrath nurses to meet a growing need for specialist breast care support.

Each year, 49 Australians are diagnosed with breast cancer every single day, according to the McGrath Foundation.

Ballarat-based McGrath Breast Care nurse Joylene Fletcher told The Courier earlier this month the most important part of her job was just to be there for those she supports.

Her support can be from helping to find and organise resources and support services, including for visiting patients who are in Ballarat for treatment, or helping patients get in to see a doctor is they have a reaction. Sometimes, her role was just empathetically listening.

For more details on #pullonyoursocks, visit pullonyoursocks2017.gofundraise.com.au.

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