Ray Ertl Memorial Cup
By Matt Hughes (NRL Vic Media)
Tomorrow the Doveton Steelers will play the North West Wolves for the annual Ray Ertl Memorial Cup, as part of the NRL’s State of Mind Round.
Raymond Ertl was a talented Victorian rugby league player who was tragically lost to suicide in 2014. He played for both the Steelers and the Wolves.
The annual match and State of Mind round aims to reduce stigma, increase mental health literacy, stimulate help seeking behaviour and empower the local rugby league community to take ownership of the mental health and wellbeing of their communities.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.
NRL Victoria is working together with the NRL by facilitating the State of Mind Round in the aim to encourage players, clubs and communities to speak up and seek help if they are experiencing any form of difficulty or difference in their mood.
North West Wolves President Sharyn Thomson spoke of the significance of the game for both teams.
“It is an important day to remember Ray and his contributions, his dedication and commitment to the Wolves and Steelers and NRL Victoria in general,” she said.
Thomson hopes the game will help improve mental health awareness.
“It helps people know when to speak and promotes the idea that it’s ok not to be ok,” she said.
The match promises to be a thrilling contest with current cup-holders Doveton sitting in first spot in the NRL Victoria second grade competition, whilst North West Wolves currently sit a spot out of finals position at fifth in first grade.
Kick off is at 3pm at Betula Reserve and NRL Victoria encourages spectators to attend.