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Schools come together for memorial shield

St Stephen’s Catholic College and Mareeba State High School came together last Tuesday at Borzi Park for the annual Dr Mark Bestmann Memorial Shield.

THE annual battle for the Dr Mark Bestmann Memorial Shield ended in a split day of results last Tuesday.

Mareeba State High School and St Stephen’s Catholic College met each other on the Borzi Park grounds and prepared for a tough and intense battle.

Both schools fielded a men’s and women’s side for the first time in four years with both games being played side by side.

The matches were close with the St Stephen’s boys taking home the shield after keeping MSHS 10 runs short.

This is the first time in four years that St Stephen’s has been able to secure the trophy, but unfortunately couldn’t follow through in the girl’s game.

The St Stephen’s girls lost when MSHS passed their total and won the game by 10 runs.

The Dr Mark Bestmann shield is day of sports and fun, however the underlying message is much more important.

The Dr Mark Bestmann Memorial Shield promotes healthy and positive wellbeing and helps to erase negative stigma surrounding mental illness.

Along with community members and Margie Bestmann, Dr Bestmann’s brother and sister attended the event all the way from Toowoomba and were ecstatic about the day and its message. They were also on hand to present the trophies to the respective winning teams.

Event Co-ordinator Paul McLennan believes that getting kids out on the field and focusing on playing a sport helps gives students relief from the stress and issues that may be bothering them.

“For the three hours they’re out on the field it gives them a chance to forget about all that,” he said.

“They can go out and have fun with their friends.

“It’s taken a lot to get us here but there is still a lot of the community that is unaware.”

Margie Bestmann has witnessed the growth and affect this day has had on the community and is looking forward to further progress.

“I think it’s fantastic, with the support we’ve been given we’ve been able to grow this event,” she said.

“When it started it was just a small idea that came on the back of Mark’s death.

“Now they’ve got a long-term plan and today just represents how far they’ve come.”

With the consistent expansion of the interschool competition, Mr McLennan is hoping to approach businesses and suggest a corporate day dedicated to mental health awareness through sport for the entire community.

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