Updated: Aug 28
Bentleigh Football Netball Club is a sporting association with a rich, long history and a deep love for its community. Bentleigh will be participating in the Southern Football Netball League pride round cup for the first time on July 13 this year. They will have both their men seniors team and their women’s seniors team participating in the Saturday clash against Cheltenham and Lyndhurst Football Netball Club‘s. Bentleigh is honoured for the opportunity to emphasise the dedication and support they aim to provide to their players and the greater community in all of their life choices.
Bentleigh Football Club’s Dimitri Petrakis was abused in four matches in 2015 with the remarks leaving him feeling alone and left with a heavy heart. Petrakis joined Bentleigh 10 years ago and was strongly supported by the club when he came out seven years ago. Twice Petrakis copped slurs from opposition players and was heavily targeted by a group of boozy men watching from a truck early that year. After the Southern Football League embraced initiatives such as the Pride Cup Bentleigh has been eager to participate.
They do not want to be a club that only supports their community when asked or when they are needed. They are there every day, through everything through thick and thin they want to show everyone just how much they want to help our great community grow and become more understanding of certain issues.
The day will begin with the Under Nineteens playing at 9:30 followed by the reserves at 11:30. Events for the pride round will kick off at 12:30 with a luncheon hosted in the Bentleigh FNC clubrooms with special guests from St. Kilda Football Club and a stall run by local group Connect Health. It is set to be an entertaining day with all members of the community welcome to join.
The men’s senior division one team will be playing against Cheltenham Football Netball Club at 1:30, these two teams have previously competed against each other during the ANZAC day cup so the rivalry between the two teams is sure to make for an exciting game. The women’s senior division one team will be playing against Lyndhurst Football Netball Club at 4:00, the Bentleigh girls have been making their mark on the SFNL competition recently and they will continue to play the game against Lyndhurst who have come up from Division 2. The two women’s sides are yet to have played a full game together so this match will be a significant one in the beginning of history between these two sides.
Throughout the years the club have grown stronger, overcoming each obstacle which they have come to face. Bentleigh is open to all members of the LGBTIQ+, they wish to stand out and for the right reasons, therefore they are so honoured to be able to participate in this year’s pride round cup. They have gone in headfirst and come out victorious with their club culture at such a high standard the bond between all their athletes is one that the club could not be prouder of. Pride is something that they hold dear today hearts and run out with into the game every single week.
Bentleigh is not only doing it for our club or for the current community, but they are doing this for the future they want; to make sure that everyone will always feel welcome at Bentleigh football netball club. The club want future generations to be at home on Arthur Street and to always know that they are loved and supported by their Bentleigh family.