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Jelly-Nelson Cup

To the ROCFC and SHOCFC communities

It was great to see many people show support for Mark Nelson and help raise funds for Daw House Hospice on Saturday. Seeing both clubs have a number of young players, which also brings new supporters and support staff (often the nature of SAAFL clubs); I thought it appropriate to give some background information about the Jelly-Nelson Cup and provide a snapshot of what your participation has helped to achieve.

The concept began when Brigitte Nelson (nee Jelly) died in 2004 after a courageous two-year battle with cancer, leaving her husband, Mark, and their sons, Harry, now 17, and Gus, 14. At her wake, former Glenelg captain and close family friend Nick Chigwidden came up with the idea of having a game among past players representing his SHOCS, against Nelson’s former club, ROCS. Further to this, it was decided these games would be important fund raisers for the Daw House Hospice and the Cancer Care Centre, two organisations that supported Brigitte and continue to assist people in the most wonderful way when they are at their lowest and most vulnerable.

The Old Lads: 2004-2008
This idea became a reality and 5 matches were played by retired footballers with connections to both Rostrevor College and Sacred Heart College. The teams have included some high profile South Australian sporting stars including Crows club champion Matthew Liptak, former Glenelg captain Nick Chigwidden, St Kilda/Sturt player Damien Kitschke, former West Adelaide captain Greg Mellor, Glenelg/Hawthorn player Tony Symonds, Port Adelaide legend Paul Belton and comic/actor Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann, as well as a large number of suburban superstars. ROCs won 3 and SHOC 2 of the matches, where the scoreboard was secondary to participation. Of course some ‘white line fever’ was still witnessed with good competitive spirit ever-present.

A New Era: 2009-15
Since 2009 the Jelly-Nelson Cup has been contested for by the ROCFC and SHOCFC ‘A’ grade teams in Division 1 of the SAAFL. The player adjudged best on ground has been awarded the O’Dea/Trimboli Medal. As the nature of the SAAFL involves promotion and relegation through the grades, only 3 matches for the trophy have taken place since the past players decided they were ‘past it.’ The ROCs lead this tally 3-0 and consequently hold the Jelly-Nelson Cup.

$70,000 Raised!
The eight games have raised in excess of $70,000 for two charities that often ‘do it tough.’ Funds raised from the Jelly-Nelson Cup matches have been used to pay for an art therapist at Daw House Hospice who works with terminally ill patients and their families, while at the Cancer Care Centre the money has been used to support an internationally-acclaimed gardening program and a “youth with cancer” program.

The Driving Force
Mark Nelson warmly states,

“The compassion displayed by the clubs, and their sponsors and fans, has been truly remarkable. We’re talking about helping organisations that rarely get support because, being like we are, we tend to only donate to groups that can save people in contrast to offering respite.”

Happily, Mark has remarried and together with his wife Sarah, his sons Harry and Gus, and their daughter Annie have been part of many other fundraising projects, including a hike to Base Camp at Everest and a bike ride through Cambodia. Through his efforts a massive $160,000 has been raised for Daw House Hospice who find raising money very difficult in this economic climate.

Thanks again to the ROCFC and SHOCFC for being a major part of this effort and good luck to both clubs for the remainder of the season and beyond. We look forward to continuing the great rivalry and strengthening bonds both on and off the field.