Mackay and District Junior and Senior Rugby Leagues form a rugby league stronghold in North Queensland.

The competition is fierce, the talent is exceptional, the volunteers are dedicated and the supporters are loyal, and of course, loud!

The 2015 season started off last weekend with many senior teams heading into round one feeling confident from trial games. There were some close match ups and fast, action packed games of football that once again highlight the intensity of the Mackay competition.

Mackay Junior Rugby League again has high registration numbers. It is great to see so many young boys and girls getting involved in the game.

There was some exciting, as well as fun and entertaining games from our mini league right through to the international league level. Being that it is only the start of the season, we can’t wait to see what 2015 holds for the competition.

Round two is dedicated to the Festival of Rugby League Weekend. This entails all junior and senior clubs playing at the one venue, Mackay JRL and Mackay Stadium, across two days.

To have the facilities to be able to deliver this event to the community is a huge credit and benefit to the Mackay Rugby League stakeholders.

We have also been able to take the festival to the next level with the Absolute Enterprise Mackay Cutters taking on the Easts Tigers at Mackay Stadium on Saturday night. To be able to provide the opportunity for local players to play in curtain-raiser games to the Mackay Intrust Super Cup team is fantastic.

Credit also needs to be given to the Mackay Junior and Senior Referees Associations for their assistance in coordinating referees for the entire weekend. As we all know, the game cannot be played without referees and without their support this event would not be possible.

Finally, I would just like to thank all of the volunteers from every club that will assist in some way over the weekend. These people are an asset to their clubs and need to be recognised for their dedication and support.

Caitlin Craig