At the end of the 2016 AFL season the partnership between Cam’s Cause and the Redland Football Club, now in its third year, remains strong, inspiring young footballers on and off the field through the story of Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG.
The Redland Sharks Under 17 team have had an extraordinary year, beginning the 2016 season as a new combination of under 16 & under 17 players. The boys have come together to become a strong cohesive unit. Game after game they took the field inspired by Cam’s story and week after week they came up with the results. It has been one the strongest years for the ‘Senior’ team of the Redland Junior program, making the finals and earning a place in the Grand Final.
The boys took the field in the Grand Final inspired by their coach Mark Sherwood and the memory of ‘Player 23’ (a story shared by Mark with his team) for what was to be a hard fought game. Unfortunately, as is the case sometimes with the game we all love so much, it just wasn’t their day. But in true Cam’s Cause style, the boys united after the loss showing a strength of character that Corporal Baird would be very proud of.
A key focus of the partnership between Redland and Cam’s Cause is recognising the exceptional effort of the junior footballers and presenting awards in Corporal Baird’s name. The Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Award for Leadership and Courage was this year awarded for the third consecutive year. This year’s winner, Joshua Oliver, like previous winners Tom Callon (2015) & Alex Green (2014) showed courage and strength not only on the field but off the field. Josh has been part of the Cam’s Cause program at Redland since its inception in 2014, constantly displaying his inspiring attitude towards teammates, club members and, in particular, the junior members of the Redland Football Club.
The Redland Sharks have had an incredibly successful year in 2016 with three teams making their respective Queensland Junior AFL grand finals and the club being awarded the QLD Junior Football Club Champions Award.
In addition to the success with the under 17’s program, Cam’s Cause were very proud to instigate the ‘Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Grand Final Medals’ for the 2016 season. These medals were awarded to players who displayed excellence in sportsmanship, courage and leadership during their Grand Final. Of the three grand finals played, U12, U13 & U17, the Redland Sharks brought home the premiership flags in the U12 & U13’s. Well done guys. The winners of the Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Grand Final Medals for 2016 were Zac Larcombe (U12), Jacob Mirosch (U13) & Rylee Weller (U17). Congratulations to all three boys.
The partnership with Redland expanded during the 2016 season when the Victoria Point Sharks football team (affiliated with Redland in the QFA) advised us that they would name their ANZAC weekend match day medal in Cameron’s honour. Hamish Lang was the well-deserved recipient of this award.
Cam’s Cause is very grateful to the Redland Sharks Football Club for its constant support and efforts in helping us remember the story of and honour the name of Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG. All club members have all embraced the story of Corporal Baird and the legacy he left us to ‘Aspire to Inspire’, a motto that is proudly emblazoned on the front page of the junior club’s prospectus.
The team at Cam’s Cause encourage all of our supporters who may be visiting the Redlands to pop into the Victoria Point Sharks Sporting Club (home of the Redland Sharks) where you will find a Cam’s Cause Triptych and the citations for Cam’s MG and VC awards hanging proudly in the Redland Hall of Fame.
We look forward to another successful season in 2017 with the Sharks and once again thanks all of the players, coaches, members and supporters for a fantastic 2016 season. Go Sharks!