JMB Cup Exhibits Festival Potential at Carey Sports Ground

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Carey Firsts footballer taking a punt

On the 11th of May Carey Bulleen played host to the now Annual JMB Cup. A gala day of sport, that aims to raise awareness of the wonderful work of both the James Macready-Bryan’ (JMB) and ‘Step Back Think’ Foundations.  These organisations aim to prevent street violence amongst youth and assist those whose lives have been tragically affected by an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).

A close connection to the Carey community has seen this event, since its inception in 2009, grow into one of the school year’s premier sporting fixtures and this year was no exception. For the first time, all of Carey’s senior Firsts teams were involved in the day, showing their support by donning orange socks, that represented both charities. Each team also gave a generous donation as a symbol of their further support. Along with the over 100 pairs of orange socks worn by players during the array of matches, field markings, scoreboards, balloons, banners and ribbons decorated Bulleen in a wash of orange.

Throughout the morning, off the field, representatives from the Step Back Think Foundation shared the work and aspirations of their organisation with spectators and students alike. Whilst on the field, the day started brilliantly with wins in the girl’s soccer and netball, overcoming strong challenges from their Caulfield opponents.

Several events were also occurring beyond Bulleen. The schools cross-country, basketball, rugby and hockey teams spread awareness and support of both causes throughout Melbourne by hosting fundraising barbeques and wearing their orange with pride.

Back at Bulleen the action was heating up. The boy’s soccer played out a tough and spirited match against St Kevin’s. In the end loosing narrowly, 1-0, despite a great effort from all on the team.

The stage was then set for the final event of the day, the JMB cup.

A large crowd had gathered to see the Football Firsts take on Caulfield, including none other than James Macready-Bryan, the individual whose tragic circumstances had inspired the work of the two great charities celebrated on the day. It was tremendous to see James – flanked by family and friends – take his position on the sidelines, as the Carey team ran out onto the field. In the end, the match resulted in a decisive win to Caulfield. Yet the result of the match seemed, for all involved, of far less significance than the cause it represented.

Following the game spectators and players gathered on Dunshea oval, in a touching gesture of solidarity, as both Mr Grutzner and the chair of the JMB Foundation, Helen Sykes, gave heartfelt speeches about the significance of the day. The cup was then presented to Caulfield by Jack Viney, an Old Carey Grammarian and player for the Melbourne football club, who also offered some closing remarks on what the day meant to him.

And thus the day ended. Despite mixed results for the teams involved, the day was a success in raising great awareness and much appreciated funds for both organisations.  A special thanks goes to the Football, Soccer and Hockey parents and players who raised a great deal of money through their fundraisers, those who supported and assisted with the running of the day, in particular Ms Cugley and finally Both ‘Step Back Think’ and ‘JMB’, who provided wonderful support.  The success of this day points towards a bright future for the staging of this event and all involved are keen to see it further develop for many years to come.

Authors: James Davy and Jessica Hansen – Sport Co Captains, Carey Grammar School