Big cats to honour barky in inaugural ‘beyond blue’ round

The Big Cats are set to honour former Springvale/Berwick player and friend, Jacinda Barclay, in what will become an annual event held each season. For the final round of both Men’s and Women’s games to be held at home this season, Saturday March 6th and Sunday March 14th, all teams will honour ‘Barky’ and set out to raise both awareness and funds for Beyond Blue.

Barky passed away on October 12th 2020 and tributes have flown for a much-loved, charismatic and loving character who just happened to be a star in multiple sports. But it was her love of baseball that brought her to Springvale way back in 2009/10. After participating in her first Women’s Baseball World Cup at the tender age of 17, Jacinda played alongside Springvale players Shae Lillywhite, Kelly Manzie and Simone Wearne. Keen to see the world, work hard to develop herself as one of the prominent pitchers in the country and of course, socialise, Barky made her way to Springy and was one of the key members of the Premiership winning Springvale/Berwick team in the 09/10 season.

Living with club stalwart Mandi Avent, Barky quickly made a name for herself, not only on the field, but off it. She was the life of the party, a trouble maker and prankster and…very untidy. But it was her fun and carefree spirit and kind heart that made her immediately part of the Big Cats family, and she has been and will be part of that family forever.

Her contributions on the field in various positions were a big part of the special Premiership victory that season, however, in true Barky fashion, she was ‘unavailable’ for the Grand Final after a washout pushed the game back a week. A loyal Perth girl, Barky had already organised to return to Perth to attend a WA Women’s Team training session and important fundraiser, so she was actually not in attendance on Grand Final day. Despite her absence, the girls took out the Championship in a season that will never be forgotten. Again, in true Barky fashion, she was MVP at the Presentation Night after party.

In order to honour Barky’s place in the Big Cats family, we will be hosting the inaugural ‘Beyond Blue for Barky’ day at Springvale on Saturday March 6th, as all three women’s teams play at home. All teams will wear one-off ‘Barclay’ Lions shirts, in an event that will become an annual part of the fixture over years to come. The day will be even more special as the Women’s Firsts compete against new Division One women’s club Newport, with some of Barky’s good friends and former teammates taking part. The two teams will play for an annual Barky Shield which will be presented post game and kept in the winning club’s trophy cabinet for the following 12 months.

The event will then continue on Sunday 14th March, with the women’s players in attendance as the men take on Footscray at home in their final fixture of the season.

A big part of the ‘Beyond Blue for Barky’ round will be raising both awareness and funds for the Beyond Blue organisation. Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, no matter their age or where they live. It is our hope that through celebrating Barky’s life and bringing Beyond Blue into the discussion, we will help spread the word and encourage conversations around a topic that is extremely important in the community.

We encourage anyone who loves baseball and wants to support a great cause to get behind this event and help us honour and remember our friend with the biggest heart, and a damn good slider.

An official fundraising page link has been provided below, and there will also be some fundraising opportunities and activities held on the day. In the meantime, if you would like to support the cause or get involved in any way, please reach out to us via email – bigcatswomensbaseball@gmail.com.

DONATE NOW VIA THE BELOW LINK

https://fundraise.beyondblue.org.au/beyondblueforbarky?fbclid=IwAR2YnxXki7rVwweCKT4T9-SbDhlOERjSAhrAuxw4w6rYalO1kS_Urg0_ONA