Local legend’s life honoured

The Mount Gambier and District Cricket Association will play a round with reason this Saturday to honour the life of a local sporting legend.

Teams across the fixture will take the field to remember Mount Gambier man Heath Case who sadly took his own life late last year.

Association vice president Shane Dycer has organised the Beyond Blue/Heath Case round to raise awareness about mental health.

“We lost Heath just before the season started and we wanted to do something to raise awareness about mental health, especially in the current climate with COVID and all the work and outside pressure that has created,” Dycer said.

“It was tough to lose one of our really good friends and workhorse of the association, Heath was a long-time cricketer at Yahl from a young age and played A Grade cricket.

“His father Rob was involved and Heath’s two sons Robbie and Hamish came through as good cricketers in their own right.

“He was also the association’s junior coordinator and he did that with distinction for a few years.”

Dycer said Heath had worked hard to keep the junior cricket program going at Yahl, before his sons eventually transferred to West Gambier.

“To lose Heath like we all did, he had a lot of friends at cricket and across the community, not just with cricket but also with football and basketball. Some of us have played sport with him since we were kids,” he said.

“To lose him suddenly to this illness – and it is an illness – we as an association were very keen to do something in his honour.

“I put forward to his family to hold this round and they were very happy that we would do something like this.

“We got their support first and then approached Beyond Blue.”

Dycer said collection boxes would be located at all grounds this Saturday and encouraged people to donate to an important cause. Donations can also be made online through the association’s Facebook page.

“Half the money will go to Beyond Blue and half to Heath’s family to help his boys to continue their cricketing endeavours.

“We want to look after Heath’s kids as he looked after ours.”

Dycer said he expected it to be an emotional round, with Heath having an impact on so many people.

“I think it’s been the biggest and hardest thing for everyone to come together … Heath has always been a larger than life person,” he said.

“To have someone like that who seemed to have time for everyone, we all miss him. We are going to try and honour him with this round and this will be a round that we continue into the future.

“It is about awareness and support and making sure everyone knows it’s okay to talk and encourage everyone to stick together and make sure your mates are okay – it is really important.”

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