Saturday, May 15, 2021

Australian hockey club honours fallen soldiers

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Hockey Paper staff
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A Brisbane hockey club is honouring fallen Australian Defence Force members with a special commemorative ANZAC Day jersey.

Northern Suburbs HC has a long tradition of Australian Army personnel in its playing ranks, given the club’s close proximity to the Gallipoli Barracks in the neighbouring suburb of Enoggera.

The club has paid tribute to ADF members with its new Diggers Appreciation Day jersey worn in games on ANZAC weekend as it also honours one of its former players, Ashley Birt.

Designed by Norths players Jack Tucker and Tim Riggall with assistance from clubmate and Australian Army Captain Aaron Evans, the jersey incorporates iconic ANZAC imagery including poppies, a soldier standing honourably over the fallen, and the eternal quote ‘Lest we forget’.

The special jersey honours Corporal Birt, a former Norths hockey player who was killed on operations in Afghanistan in 2011.

“We endeavoured to create a jersey that is respectful and honours past and present members of the ADF who have represented our country so that we may live blessed and privileged lives,” said Tucker.

“We feel very fortunate to wear this design and will do our utmost to represent their honour with dignity and pride, just as they have nobly done for us and Australia.”

Part of the purpose of the Diggers Appreciation Day commemoration is to raise awareness of people’s mental health.

Norths is also raising money for Cor Infinitus, whose purpose is to provide dignity and respect to the families of ADF personnel who have taken their own lives.

The organisation also aims to break down the stigma around mental health for serving and veteran defence force members.

Norths is hosting an event at its clubhouse on April 24 with guest speaker Kevin Humphreys, who had a 20-year military career flying Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters for the Australian Army.

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