While it’s not quite state against state, it’s definitely mate against mate in the Reclink Community Cup, which is firing back up after a year off due to COVID-19.
The annual AFL game pits Canberra’s media hacks (The Noise) against musicians (The Limestones), and the gruelling boot camp and rigorous training days have just begun ahead of the September bounce.
Musicians and comedians alike were lucky to make the 1:00 pm training start on a brisk Sunday at Reid Oval, but nonetheless, a strong turnout from both sides got the ball rolling for this season.
Now in its fifth year after the Cup came to Canberra in 2017, The Noise has failed to secure a win in their last three meetings.
Neither cohort is known for their fitness and healthy lifestyles, and the huffing and puffing only grew deeper as the afternoon progressed.
While this author was seeing stars after the warm-up lap, former Region Media journalist (and Queanbeyan correspondent) Michael Weaver showed his fans what a strong off-season looks like.
The cup started as a humble event in Melbourne 30 years ago and has spread across the country, raising money for Reclink in their host cities.
Reclink provides sport, art and recreation programs for people experiencing mental illness, family violence, homelessness, social isolation, gambling harm, unemployment, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
In the past 12 months, Reclink Australia has provided more than 10,000 activities, across national networks, with more than 100,000 opportunities offered in those activities.
The teams are hoping to raise $10,000 this year after raising $6500 last time around. It is the major fundraiser for Reclink in Canberra.
Canberrans are encouraged to turn out in their favourite (least hated?) team colours on 5 September at Jamison Oval in Belconnen. Or just come for a snag.
Either way, it can’t be as bad as a Collingwood game.