Following last year's success of the inaugural 'Clash for Cancer' AFL football match hosted by Essendon Football Club and The Cancer Council Victoria, footballers of all levels, around the state now have the chance to don yellow armbands and support the one in three men affected by cancer.
Cancer Council Fundraising Director Deb Stringer said the new campaign, Call to Arms, was an opportunity for local football communities to unite as one, on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June, and significantly impact the cancer fight.
"Cancer knows no boundaries," she said. "We're inviting players and supporters from all clubs across the state to celebrate with cancer survivors, support those currently facing the cancer fight and remember loved ones lost, by wearing a yellow armband during their games over the Call to Arms weekend."
Ms Stringer said the new campaign was designed to raise awareness among males of varying ages, a group which the Cancer Council believes can often be more difficult to reach than females.
"Our data shows that men have a lower five year survival rate than women," Ms Stringer said.
"Our aim is to highlight what they can do to reduce their risk of cancer as well and let them know where they can turn for information and support."
Call to Arms participants will be able to make a donation to the Cancer Council for their armbands. All money raised enables world-class cancer research, many programs which educate Victorians on cancer risks and ways of preventing cancer, and support services for those affected by cancer.
Call to Arms Patron and Essendon Premiership Player Adam Ramanauskas said he hoped football Clubs across the state would get on board.
"We have all been touched by cancer in one way or another and Call to Arms is a fantastic way to raise funds and awareness. Together we can make a significant contribution to the cancer fight," Mr Ramanauskas said.
Essendon Managing Director Peter Jackson said the Club placed great value on its relationship with the Cancer Council and the work it does in combating the disease.
"This is a very important partnership and we hope Call to Arms will develop into a very significant fundraising event annually," Mr Jackson said.
"Essendon has played a role in getting this campaign off the ground because of this relationship and the experiences of Adam Ramanauskas."
"You don't need to be an Essendon supporter to get involved. Cancer does not discriminate, this is about raising funds and awareness for the benefit of everyone." Mr Jackson said.
"Given the amount of support we received from supporters at opposition clubs after we were fined for wearing Yellow Armbands during Clash For Cancer last year, I am sure Call to Arms will also be a great success."
Call to Arms takes place on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 June, the weekend prior to Clash For Cancer - a special AFL Call to Arms game between Essendon and Melbourne at The Dome, on Friday 29 June.
Clubs wishing to register for Call to Arms can visit http://www.calltoarms.com.au/ or call 1300 65 65 85 for more information.
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