Fun, Friends, Football and Fundraising

Ever since our beloved Bathurst went into lockdown, that date also marks the moment when sporting competitions in Bathurst came to a halt.  However, that weekend of the 7th and 8th of August proved to be quite the sporting cliffhanger, especially for Charles Sturt University’s soccer club – CSUFC – who raised over $10,000 for Headspace.

The first weekend of August marked the start of CSUFC’s annual Headspace Cup, now up and running for its sixth year in a row. The Headspace Cup is a trophy contested between CSUFC and the teams of Bathurst District Football, which consist of all other football clubs in the Bathurst region.  To successfully ‘win’ the cup, either side must win more than fifty percent of games played by their teams over the weekend. In its 2021 rendition, there were eight Headspace Cup games to be played, each by one of CSUFC’s eight teams versing a BDF counterpart.

Credit: Simone Kurtz

The aim for both sides was clear: to win the cup, you must win five or more games.

However, rivalry was the furthest thing from any team’s mind during Headspace Cup weekend. In fact it was quite the opposite, with local teams Panorama FC, Bathurst Athletic and Bathurst 75 all making considerable donations towards Headspace.

Whilst many think donations are just those received from the student-run tents down at Proctor Park, CSUFC’s dedication to the cause was far more wide-reaching. A favourite fundraiser initiated by the club’s committee are the ‘Headspace Cup Bets’, where club members have the opportunity to wager their friends’ footballing abilities, with all proceeds going towards Headspace. Take for instance, individuals donating $5 to Headspace for every goal scored by a particular team.

Credit: Simone Kurtz

But the generosity from the Bathurst community did not even begin to look like stopping at CSUFC. Bathurst District Football also showed the community once again why they’re one of the Headspace Cup weekend’s biggest supporters, with the organisation offering up bets such as $100 for every game won by CSU over the weekend and $25 for every goal scored by a member of the university-based club.

One of the club’s most successful efforts to this year’s fundraising was the Headspace raffle, which was valued at a combined $1610 between five winners.

As for the actual Headspace Cup, the weekend’s games came down to the wire with CSUFC determined to win back the cup from BDF’s victory in 2020. Early wins for Third and Second Grade ladies placed CSUFC in a comfortable position heading into Sunday afternoon. Whilst the Third Grade men won their first game of the season to bring the trophy into CSU’s sights.

However, with Fourth Grade Men, Second Grade Men, First Grade Men and First Grade Ladies all going down to BDF affiliated clubs, the weekend’s result came down to a nail biter between the Red First Grade Men’s team and Abercrombie FC. The undefeated boys managed to get the job done, resulting in Headspace Cup’s first-ever draw.

Although the actual cup was drawn and hence the trophy returned to BDF for another year, the real winner of the fantastic weekend of Football was raising funds and awareness for the mental health not-for-profit organisation, Headspace.

The weekend’s spreading of awareness for mental health can be summed up in a most touching encounter. When a member of the public approached one of the first-year-university players, Isaac Coldicott and asked for an explanation for what Headspace is. When Coldicott had explained to this lady what the charity was, the lady then hugged Isaac before the pair exchanged stories about family members overcoming mental health.

Pictures from the Headspace Cup. Credit: Simone Kurtz