The #PlayinPurple campaign is about to go into its eighth year of running and its first in the capital. Sharon Brennan, long-time Gungahlin United FC member through volunteering and now her position as Club Registrar, aims to create awareness and fundraise for pancreatic cancer within the campaign.
The #PlayinPurple 2021 campaign was a huge success with almost 14000 players participating and associations including Football NSW, Football West and Capital Football and even high-profile A-League clubs getting behind the cause.
The national waareness campaign has been rescheduled to the weekends of July 23/24 and 30/31 because of the adverse weather NSW has encountered impacting the starting dates.
Footballers from all ages and leagues passionately wear purple socks on an allocated weekend to raise awareness for the cause and embrace the critical need to do so.
Sharon holds the campaign close to her heart after heartbreakingly losing both her uncle and her best friend’s mother to the cancer.
The association that runs the campaign is called “PanKind” and they hold countless other fundraising opportunities for pancreatic cancer throughout the year. One of these includes “Remember September” where you give up something for the month of September and raise money through people that sponsor you.
“The reason I found out about the campaign was because I lost my uncle and my best friend’s mum to pancreatic cancer within a six-month period. Up until then I’ve never heard of it, I didn’t even know it existed,” Sharon said.
“And then within six months, two really wonderful people that I was close to, died. That’s when I became aware of it.”
Gungahlin United FC have reached out to all their teams to participate on the allocated weekends and will extend the invitation through social media to other clubs that will be playing at their home ground of Harrison on those weekends.
“For those that won’t be able to participate because not everybody will purchase the socks, there will be posters up at the Harrison clubhouse with QR codes on them to directly donate to PanKind,” Sharon said.
“We’ll also be making a mass of cupcakes with purple icing for the little kids with a gold coin donation that will also go to the association.”
Sharon believes it is of utmost importance to raise awareness and fundraise for the cause after her personal experiences with those close to her passing because of it.
“My uncle fought very hard, and they did all they could do, but seeing what my aunt and their four daughters had to go through was terrible. I watched what it did to my family so to raise awareness is important, hopefully other families don’t have to go through that,” she said.
Purple socks can be purchased for $15, and you can donate directly to the fundraiser on the PanKind website here.
Words: Sonia Emanuel