The Runaway Bay Seagulls’ annual Anzac Day charity match is one of the biggest events in the club’s calendar.
A day of remembrance, awareness, respect, pride and footy, the Gold Coast club have been holding this event for over a decade now in collaboration with the Runaway Bay RSL sub-branch.
And this year will be no different, as they strive to bring the significance of Anzac Day to the attention of their players – from juniors right through to their A Grade seniors.
Club secretary Carol Dimond said the day’s matches would kick off at their home grounds at Bycroft Oval on Sunday, April 24 from noon, with a special ceremony held right before the Runaway Bay and Southport A Grade clash at 3pm.
Runaway Bay wear special jerseys on the day and the march involves the Military Brotherhood – veterans on motorcycles – as well as RSL members and guests, the Rugby League Gold Coast match officials, ball boys and ball girls, and the under 5s prep league players.
They also hope to have the Mudgeeraba Light Horse regiment in attendance.
“It would be the biggest round for us,” Dimond said.
“We do have other carnivals and events, but they’re not necessarily annual or necessarily this big.
"This Anzac Day tradition is always the Sunday closest to Anzac Day and it’s a busy day for our volunteers and organisers but very special.
“We came up with the idea quite a few years ago to commemorate Anzac Day. It’s a special tribute to our servicemen and women … the RSL support us and everything comes together to commemorate Anzac Day.”
The day also includes the auctioning off of the special game day jersey, with the proceeds going towards a veterans’ nominated charity.
Dimond said the club always liked to remind their players of the Anzac history and each year she sees how it does effect their teams, particularly those in the A Grade match.
“It keeps our young people aware and grateful for the service,” she said.
“It’s about courage, awareness and respect. The players take a lot of pride in it.
“It is a commemorative event and there is such an awareness of Anzac Day and you can see that it brings a lump to the throat of those people as they stand there before they play.
“When you hear the bugles and see the motorcycles coming in, it’s quite spectacular actually.”
The Seagulls are currently undefeated and leading the Gold Coast A Grade competition, with the Tigers sitting in third place.