The Healing Power of Rugby in Roma

Sun, Feb 11, 2024, 8:02 AM
by Queensland Rugby Media Unit
Jack’s Chicks…Georgia Cameron flanked by water boys Ollie Lewington (left) and Lincoln O’Brien and her teammates in Roma.
Jack’s Chicks…Georgia Cameron flanked by water boys Ollie Lewington (left) and Lincoln O’Brien and her teammates in Roma.

The healing powers of rugby have reached Roma where Georgia Cameron and her women’s sevens teammates are honouring the brother she lost to a tragic farm accident.

Jack’s Chicks play just a single tournament once-a-year as a poignant nod to Jack Cameron, the 10-year-old who lost his life in 2020.

“We play for Jack every year. He touched everyone’s hearts,” said team regular Lily Black, 22.

The Santos Festival of Rugby in Roma created the stage for this special reunion on Friday and Saturday at the Roma Echidnas’ home ground.

“It’s important for all of us, the team, myself, Jack’s other sisters, Jack’s mates as water boys, mum and dad. Jack would have loved to be part of this and watched us play,” Georgia, 21, said.

Paige Carpenter on the charge for Jack’s Chicks in the sevens at the Santos Festival of Rugby

Young Jack was a budding footy star in junior teams in Roma with his prolific try-scoring, sheer love of sport and contagious energy.

Jack and Churchie schoolboy Archie Gouldson, 16, both died when a 4WD driven by a 16-year-old rolled on the Cameron cattle property outside Roma in 2020.

The accident left families devastated and Georgia, Jemma and Meg Cameron without their precious little brother.

“My family was sitting around the table at home thinking ‘let’s do something for Jack’ and the rugby sevens idea all started from there for 2021,” Georgia said.

“I’d never even played rugby sevens until our first tournament in 2021.

“We’re getting better too. This year is the best we’ve played.

“The girls come back to Roma each year for this one tournament from jobs in NSW, Toowoomba and wherever to play. It’s great that two of Jack’s mates are water boys for us too.”

Water boys Ollie Lewington, 14, and Lincoln O’Brien, 15, were kept busy in the Roma heat with temperatures reaching 37 degrees by mid-afternoon on Saturday.

Two wins on Friday pushed Jack’s Chicks into Saturday’s Plate Final where they fought to the end for the final try in a 33-5 loss to Roma’s Blood, Sweat and Beers.

A special award “Jack’s Bracelet” is awarded annually to the player of the women’s final.

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