The Kingaroy Rugby League club’s famous animal emblem, the redoubtable Red Ant, will once again take a back seat and let another colour grace the uniforms of teams playing on June 20: vivid pink.
Looking festive in fuchsia is a lot of fun for the players and even better for the spectators, but there’s serious reason for the one-off colour switch.
Last year, the Kingaroy club members dreamt up the ‘Pink Round’ as a way to convey their support to Linda Geiger, who had been diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year.
The Geiger family had been (and still are) heavily involved with rugby league in Kingaroy and the wider South Burnett for many years and it was fitting for the club and the public to do something dramatic and visual to remind the family of the esteem in which they are held locally.
Linda’s Husband Darren, is the current Kingaroy A Grade coach and Queensland School Under 12 Coach.
Club President, Mick Dugdell, said the ‘Pink Round’ – now renamed ‘Playing for a Cure’ had an immediate impact.
“The whole ground was covered in pink – balloons, streamers, clothes, hats, the whole lot. Everyone came on board,” Mick said.
“We were playing our long-time rivals and neighbours that day, the Nanango Stags, and to their enduring credit they really got into the spirit of it and helped out however they could,” he said.
“It worked on a few levels: it reminded Linda – who was there on the day – that she was in our thoughts and it also brought the rugby league family together in a way that was very moving.
“Just as importantly, though, it generated some funds not just to help the Geiger family but also for cancer research in general and we are keen to keep the idea going so that the Kingaroy Rugby League Football Club can play a part in getting on top of this awful disease.”
To look the part in this game the Red Ants borrowed a set of pink jerseys from the Valleys Junior Rugby League Club in Toowoomba for the Under 16 boys while the Under 14s played in the girls’ jerseys which are edged with pick stripping.
Borrowing jerseys prompted some very supportive parents to delve into the community to raise funds to purchase the club there very own set of jerseys.
Overwhelmed with business support, three sets of jerseys were purchased for the Under 12, Under 14 and Under 16 teams.
NRL major sponsor Holden local deal, John Dundas Holden also came on board with a set for the A Grade team as well.
Such community spirit is what rugby league is about in the bush.
Mick said cancer had touched the club in other ways, with club patron Peter Shultz recently being re-diagnosed.
“We know cancer is not selective and affects virtually every family, but this is our way of bringing the footy family together as a show of defiance and great rugby league spirit,” Mick said.
‘Playing for a Cure’ will be run at T.J. O’Neill Rugby League Football Grounds on June 20.
Fundraising activities and special events all day on the back of spectacular country rugby league.