Every year a special day rolls around in Victorian women’s football, and despite there being a cup being on the line, the silverware itself is not the most important facet.
This year marks the seventh time the Eastern Devils will play the Darebin Falcons for the Catherine Wotton Cup, and although the Devils would desperately love to get their hands on the trophy for the first time, they are prouder of what this annual event has managed to achieve.
Originally played for at AH Capp Reserve in 2011 as part of the then VWFL’s Ovarian Cancer Round, the festivities around the Cup help raise funds for the Catherine Wotton Scholarship Fund.
Speaking to Girls Play Footy, 2017 Collingwood AFLW footballer and Eastern Devils legend Lou Wotton said the Scholarship Fund was set up by her and her sisters, Amy and Jo, after their mother passed away from ovarian cancer in 2006.
“My mum was a nurse for 37 years and she loved being a nurse,” Wotton explained.
“When my mum was going through her battle we really saw that there was a shortage in specialised nurses in this area.
“People with this type of cancer would kind of just be grouped in with other cancer patients.
“It really was an idea of Mum’s good friends, and they’re all nurses as well, to develop a scholarship where we could financially help nurses train in this area, so that ultimately they could give greater care for those suffering gynaecological cancers.”
As part of the day, the Devils swap their traditional black and white kit for a special teal jumper, along with many other teal-themed items available for purchase and to raise awareness.
“Teal is one of the colours for ovarian cancer, so that’s why we chose that colour,” Wotton said.
“We had a sponsor in Megabolt that kindly bought the set of jumpers for us so that we could get the players to purchase their teal jumper [as a fundraiser].”
For those who make their way to Mulgrave Reserve on Sunday, there will be plenty of opportunities to contribute.
“We’ll have a raffle going with great prizes as per usual, but our famous bake sale will be on.
“All the Devils girls get in the kitchen and bake up a storm, so I’m sure there will be some really good treats on Sunday.”
Along with the annual match, there’s been a number of breakfasts and other functions held, all helping the Fund to surpass its goal of raising more than $100,000.
So far, four recipients of the Scholarship Fund have already been announced, with no doubt more to follow after what will be another successful Cath Wotton Cup Day.
Asked whether her famous commentator sister, and club President, Jo would be making another cameo appearance and pulling on the Devils jumper for the day, Lou confirmed that she’d be the only one of her family running out on the ground on Sunday.
“I think I’m going to be the only Wotton out there on the field this Sunday.
“Jo has done in the past, and even my elder sister Amy, who’s never played a game of footy in her life, was trying to tell us that she’d get a game, but yeah, it will only be me this weekend.”
For those coming along to Mulgrave Reserve on Sunday, they’re due to be in for a classic match, with sixth playing fifth on the ladder.
Additionally, former Darebin captain Daisy Pearce indicated this would be her first VFL Women’s match for the season last week on social media.
The Catherine Wotton Cup will be broadcast live Sunday from 1pm on digital radio in Melbourne through RSN Carnival, through the RSN Racing & Sport App and the Girls Play Footy website.
Hear the full interview with Lou Wotton on Episode 22, Season 3 of the Girls Play Footy Podcast below, and read more about the Catherine Wotton Scholarship Fund at: http://www.cathwottonfund.org