Over 200 primary school students from 12 schools across far North Queensland will compete in the AFL event, Garbutt Magpies Cup on Friday August 18.

Long-term sponsors Ausco Modular has called upon Queenslanders to come along and cheer on the young participants as they compete for honours.

Established by the former Garbutt Magpies Sporting Club at the request of the AFL with a view to engaging with, and mentoring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in Queensland, the Garbutt Magpies Cup uses sport as a vehicle to promote messages of resilience, strength and connectedness to kids on the cusp of adolescence. The competition is open to all year five and six male and female students from all cultural backgrounds.

In the run-up to the event, several former Garbutt Magpie AFLQ players and an Ausco Modular representative travelled across the region, visiting participating schools to present players with their shirts purchased by Ausco, and deliver a mentoring session to students.

Ausco Modular is sponsoring the event for the fourth consecutive year. Ausco Manufacturing Manager Craig Canning says all participating students will be mentored by former Garbutt Magpies players who will share stories and offer their perspective on life and growing up.

He adds that the AFL event combines four key areas that Ausco is particularly passionate about: sport, education, cultural awareness and community spirit.

Explaining the significance of the event, Garbutt Magpies Cup chairperson Leon Stubbs says the competition is reminiscent of a time when community members played a greater role in the lives of young people. For about four decades beginning in the 1950s, the Garbutt Magpies Sporting Club was an important part of the Garbutt community, not just as a sporting club – local kids playing AFL, Rugby League, Basketball, Vigoro, Cricket and Softball saw the Club as a second family with the coaches and other adults being genuine mentors and role models.

The Garbutt Magpies celebrate the ongoing benefits of this support and mentorship with four at-risk students returning to complete their High School Certificates. According to Craig Canning, these children would have been lost in the system if not for the pathways from the Garbutt Magpies to Abergowrie College.

The Garbutt Magpies Cup will take place on Friday 18 August 2017 at Murray Sporting Complex from 9:00am. The round-robin competition will conclude at 2:00pm with one team taking home the prestigious cup for the year.