Hundreds of people gathered at Alexandra Oval on Sunday to throw their support behind the inaugural Grampians Community Health ‘Healthy Blokes’ football match.
Two teams of men and women over 40 years old competed in the match to raise funds and awareness for men’s physical and mental health.
Former Richmond footballer and match creator Scott Turner said it was a “great day”.
“The sun was shining for us which was fantastic,” he said.
“I had a bit of a feeling we would have a good crowd and we sure did.
“The players enjoyed it before, during and afterwards and we made some good money for a good cause.”
Gold coin donations were taken at the gate as well as raffles being run and all bar takings on the day being donated.
“We had some fantastic community support which made the day possible,” Turner said.
”We also auctioned of three footballs which made about $500.”
On the field, the Tiges and Doggies did battle, with Turner’s Tiges just coming out in front.
“We kicked with the wind in the first quarter and pulled ahead a bit. By the end everyone was too tired so we were able to hold onto it,” Turner said.
“Some of the players are still pretty fit and skillful so it wasn’t a bad match at all.”
A highlight of the match was seeing jockey Dean Yendall match up against the much bigger Turner, providing the adoring crowd with some great laughs.
Turner said he has already heard from people they wish to see it go ahead next year.
“The feedback we are getting is we can do it again and there is even talk of getting a netball game going too,” he said.
The jovial atmosphere and fun day shone a spotlight on the serious issue of men’s health, in particular mental wellbeing.
Turner said he believes the message about men’s health got across to everyone who was involved.
“All the players got flyers about men’s health. It is just one little thing that might help someone out some time down the track,” he said.
“It is all about looking after each other and speaking up rather than trying to swallow everything up.
“It was a great day overall.”