Maroochydore Hockey Club coaching director Jeff Lancaster and his J1 boys side pay tribute fallen police officer Senior Constable Brett Forte.
Maroochydore Hockey Club coaching director Jeff Lancaster and his J1 boys side pay tribute fallen police officer Senior Constable Brett Forte. Patrick Woods

Touching tribute to fallen officer

HEARING youths talk about their support for a grieving family through a simple gesture was an encouraging aspect of what has been a devastating tragedy.

The teenage boys were lining up before their hockey match at Ballinger Park Sports Complex in Buderim on Saturday afternoon.

They, like the rest of the junior and senior teams who played that day, raised their sticks in honour of slain Toowoomba police officer Brett Forte.

To an outsider, it may have appeared the boys had been told they had to do it.

But overhearing their chat, it sounded like they really wanted to do it.

They talked about what they had heard of Senior Constable Forte's death through media reports and why they were raising their sticks as a mark of respect to his sacrifice.

Maroochydore Hockey Club coaching director Jeff Lancaster encouraged the simple gesture after hearing of Snr Const Forte's death.

It was particularly devastating for him, having seen Snr Const Forte grow up as a neighbour and close family friend.

They referred to each other as brothers.

He said younger hockey players had the situation explained to them so they understood why they were taking part in the tribute.

It is an important step to include children in the conversation about the tragic events that touch our community.

They can gain resilience and an understanding of how to move forward when they face the difficulties they will encounter in adulthood.


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