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Wrapping up Mental Health Week in sporting style

14 October 2022

Friday 14 October saw staff from across the Townsville Catholic Education Diocese combine to host the 4th Annual Queensland Mental Health Week Rugby League and Netball Carnival at our very own Townsville Sports Precinct.

The carnival once again raised valuable funds and awareness for youth mental health and provided a positive playing experience for all schools involved. The Bishop Putney Shield Rugby League 9s (Boys and Girls divisions) and the Mary Help of Christians Netball competition featured schools from across the Townsville Catholic Education Diocese with 14 teams competing in the Rugby League 9s and four teams competing in Netball.

Bringing both carnivals together in 2022 boosted the numbers to more than 300 students, raising awareness and valuable funds for the Bishop Putney Fellowship (local mental health charity).

Convenor, Annan Whittington, said school sport was a wonderful engagement tool as students make positive connections with team mates and students from all over North Queensland, building resilience and getting a high level of physical exercise, which all leads to a positive mindset.

“Through sport we can encourage an active, healthy lifestyle to drive change and to promote wellbeing/speaking up amongst our younger generations throughout the entire region,” he said.

The event was supported by members of the North Queensland Cowboys development and welfare team, the Townsville Referees Association who volunteered their time, Ray Thompson from the North Queensland Cowboys and Resilience Project, volunteers from Mentally Healthy City Townsville, and the Bishop Putney Fellowship who were on hand to mingle and raise awareness. All of these outstanding local ambassadors for mental health were available to share their own unique stories and tips for living a mindful life and working towards a positive mindset.

The carnival gets stronger and stronger each year, and this is thanks to a passionate support team all with the same ‘why’ in mind. The ‘why’ is to help initiate conversations, participate in physical activity (positive influence on the mind) and an opportunity to generally check in on mates.

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the 2022 Queensland Mental Health Week Rugby League and Netball Carnival.