Touch and go in hugely successful Beanie Day

All Saints’ College, Maitland, would typically have an assembly and invite Mark Hughes to speak about his experiences for our annual Beanie Day to raise awareness for brain cancer.

The former State of Origin and Newcastle Knights rugby league star is an alumnus of the school as well as a survivor of brain cancer and founder of the Mark Hughes Foundation.  

This year’s Beanie Day was held on Friday 3 July, but due to COVID-19 restrictions it was not possible to stage it in the traditional way. So, with some innovative planning from our Student Leadership Team, the college expanded its focus to include Jersey Day as part of our theme. 

Hosted by the Mark Hughes Foundation, the NRL staged its “Beanie Round” from 18 to 21 June. All Saints decided to support this theme, and students and staff were encouraged to wear a beanie and/or football jersey to raise awareness and funding for brain cancer.  

We are very proud of the way our community embraces such events, not only raising awareness, but much-needed funds for brain cancer research. Beanie Day was also way for us to show support for those staff, students and families impacted by various types of cancers, including brain cancer. 

The promotion of Beanie Day throughout the week largely focused on providing students with information around brain cancer. The Mark Hughes Foundation has raised more than $18 million since its inception in 2014, and we as a school are proud to contribute to this worthy cause. 

The All Saints College Beanie Day itself began with prayer in Tutor Group, taking time to reflect and pray for those in need within our community.  

At lunchtime, the footy theme took centre stage with a round robin touch football competition. Usually each Friday at lunchtime, our senior campus runs a cluster sports competition involving students from Dominic and Siena clusters competing in a range of sports. On this occasion touch football was our chosen sport, involving teams from Years 10, 11 and 12, and a staff team.  

In the lead-up to our round robin, it was difficult to tell just how many staff and students would get involved. But to my surprise, participation was plentiful for each team. The Year 10 team competed against teams from Year 11 Dominic and Year 11 Siena, with Dominic showing a high level of skill to top the pool and advance to the final. Pool B comprised Year 12 Siena, Year 12 Dominic, and the staff team. 

With representatives from across the college turning back the clock with an impressive display, the staff team moved into the final. The question remained – would youth or experience prevail in the final? Could the stamina of the staff last for one final game? As time ticked away and lunchtime ended, it was the staff team that gained the advantage with a 2-1 victory.  

The enthusiastic participation on the field was equally matched with pleasing high level of crowd support. Students and staff took advantage of the extended lunchtime and the treats available at Café Sabina.  

Canteen manager Deb Dries supported our themeselling footy-inspired meal deals on the day, with a percentage of sales also donated to the Mark Hughes Foundation. Deb is a welcome recent addition to the staff of All Saints CollegeSt Mary’s Campus 

Our successful 2020 college Beanie Day event brought together staff and students from the junior and senior campuses for worthy cause. Congratulations to our Senior Student Leadership team for this initiative, which was a really nice way to finish Term 2. A big thank you to all who contributed. 

This prayer comes from the shrine of St Jude, the patron saint of hope.  

“God of healing mercy, in Jesus your Son you stretch out your hand in compassion, restoring the sinner, healing the sick, and lifting up those bowed down. Embrace us now in your loving care, particularly those afflicted with cancer, for whom this intention is offered. May the Spirit of Jesus bring us all health in soul and body, that with joy and thanksgiving we may praise you for your goodness.” Amen. 

Mary Our Good Mother … Pray for us. 

St Dominic … Pray for us. 

St Marcellin Champagnat … Pray for us. 

All Saints & Holy People … Pray for us. 

And let us always remember to … Pray for one another. 

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