‘The streakers. Oh, the streakers’: Move over MCG, the Reclink Cup is the biggest game of footy this city has ever seen
Subscribe
X

Get the latest from Beat

06.06.2024

‘The streakers. Oh, the streakers’: Move over MCG, the Reclink Cup is the biggest game of footy this city has ever seen

Reclink Community Cup
Words by Juliette Salom

There’s never been an annual game of footy so hotly contested and keenly awaited.

Move over MCG – Victoria Park on Sunday June 16 is setting up to host the biggest game of footy this city has ever seen. And the footy on the field is barely the best part.

Made up of radio presenters and local musicians, the rugged Rockdogs will be taking on the mighty Megahertz at Victoria Park for a day of celebrating local music, grassroots football and community spirit to raise funds for Reclink Australia. As the foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser, the Reclink Community Cup in Melbourne/Naarm returns for a day of both friendly rivalry and significant fundraising for the work that Reclink does in connecting people through structured sport and recreation programs.

“It’s a great chance for musicians and music media to come together and do something fun to help raise money for charity,” Brian Easteal of Brian El Dorado and the Tuesday People says. With ticket sales contributing to helping support programs that aim at improving life outcomes for people who are experiencing mental illness, family violence, homelessness, social isolation, gambling harm, unemployment and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, the Reclink Community Cup is one of the biggest events in the foundation’s calendar.

Reclink Community Cup 2024

  • Sunday June 16
  • Victoria Park, Abbotsford
  • Tickets here

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here.

Whilst the day is one of igniting community spirit through team sport, the Rockdogs co-captain isn’t afraid of a little mudslinging when it comes to seizing up the competition. “Chris Gill is a great footballer and competitor,” Easteal says. “I’ll do my best to be his worst nightmare.”

Gill, who is a presenter on Triple R’s program Get Down, is a veteran when it comes to the Community Cup. Playing in the Megahertz for his 15th year, there’ll be barely a player on the field as seasoned as this co-captain of the mighty Megahertz. “The event is one of the great days in the history of each and every year,” he says. “So much happy vibes, so many friends. So many friends you didn’t know you had.” But when it comes to securing the top score at the final siren? “Of course the mighty Megahertz will win. We are cultural aesthetes and superior athletes.”

Also heading up the teams are co-captain of the Rockdogs Anna Stewart of Back Pocket and co-captain of the Megahertz Emelyne Khor of PBS program The Blend. Stewart, who first participated in the cup last year, says both the game and the build up around it is incredible. “The game itself and the friendships created between members of both teams provide a great example of how recreation can be a space for social inclusion, which is exactly what Reclink is out to prove.”

 

It’s not just the footy that you’ll want to come for, either, but a program of some of the best local music to ever grace the blades of green at Vic Park. With a lineup of bands to almost steal the show away from the rough and tumbles on the field, music royalty Floodlights, Kaiit, Ross Wilson & the Peaceniks, Teether & Kuya Neil, The UV Race and Whistle & Trick will be blowing up the stage. There’ll also be tunes spun throughout the day by DJ Lauren Taylor and DJ Simon Winkler from Triple R’s Breaking and Entering.

Community spirit and good music abound, the players on both teams won’t let the events of the day distract them from the final prize in sight – the absolute glory of flogging the other team. “The Rockdogs are guaranteed to win,” Stewart says. “Our list has one thing the Megaz’s doesn’t: Depth.” Although, the Rockdogs are up to some tough competition, Stewart admits. “We’ll be keeping an eye on Clara Slewa from Velvet Haze, who is a dangerous little pocket rocket.”

In terms of tactics to psyche out the other side, Gill says that the Megahertz are planning to “all run like crabs to put them off. Who would want to tackle a crab person?” As seriously (or unseriously) the players take the game, punters and players alike are all hyper aware of the real reason this rag-tag bunch of musos and media people are gathering for a game of footy. With the real prize being to raise as much money as possible for Reclink Australia, it means the football can be played as sincerely as it can be sillily. Because of that, pranks are never off the table. Or off the field.

The Mighty Megahertz vs. the Rugged Rockdogs

 

“Every year there are some ridiculous shenanigans,” Easteal says. “[Like] impromptu band performances in the goal square and an on-field sausage sizzle.” Gill, when reminiscing on the hooligan behaviour that pairs with this game of earnest footy, simply says, “The streakers. Oh, the streakers.” In summing up the events of the day, Gill adds, “The pranks are always a laugh, but often the footy is a prank unto itself.”

Pranks and shenanigans aside, Gill underlines what the day truly comes down to. “It actually puts the unity back into community radio,” he says. “By having the two radio stations band together, it helps forge a beautiful love between the two stations.” It’s just like how the Cup helps forges a bond between community and sport, just like how Reclink is making efforts to do the same.

You can get tickets to the Reclink Community Cup 2024 here.

This article was made in partnership with Reclink Community Cup.