WHILE many sporting clubs dedicate a weekend to raising money for cancer awareness, for the Griffith Black and Whites League tag team, pink day takes on extra special meaning.
For the past four seasons the team has pounded the pavement in a bid to raise as much money to help one of its own.
In a stark reminder of what the day is really about, the Griffith players will carry former player Cema Toga’s name on the front of their special pink jerseys in their clash against the Bidgee Hurricanes this weekend at EW Moore Oval.
To coincide with the Women in League round in the NRL, Griffith coach Peter Parslow said his side was keen to make this year’s fundraising event the biggest yet.
“The girls just started out trying to raise money for breast cancer, but now everybody has been personally affected with Cema being diagnosed and fighting through it,” Parslow said.
“Cema was one of the original players in the side, so on top of that with her daughters still playing in the side she’s like a surrogate mother to a lot of the players in the team. I guess you could call her the spiritual mother of the side.
“So for all of those reasons this is a game the girls really look forward to from the start of the year, they focus on this weekend as probably one of the biggest outside of the finals.”
All money raised from several raffles, pink items for sale, including copies of the jerseys worn by the Black and Whites players, will be donated to the McGrath foundation.
Griffith will look to continue its good form, with its 32-22 win against TLU last weekend being hailed as its best performance of the season by Parslow.
The home side jumped out to an early lead thanks to three tries, but a lapse in concentration gave the Sharks the chance they needed and they narrowed the gap to 12.
But Griffith scored first in the second half as the teams traded tries, ensuring Black and Whites secured the win.
“Ashley Penrith was good in getting a lot of metres out of dummy half and we were able to work off the back of that,” Parslow said.
“And Makelesi Toga and Desma Newman have taken on the captaincy for the year, Shailyn (Williams) has stepped down from the job and it’s really working well for us, the two new girls are taking a big interest in teaching the younger girls in the side.”