Pictured: Rival skippers Dane Hogan (Easts) and Phil Dennis (Souths Logan) square off on board a RFDS aircraft.
The QRL has today announced the Round 23 Intrust Super Cup teams who will this weekend spread far and wide across regional Queensland as part of ‘Get in the Game’ Country Week.
From Dalby in the Darling Downs to Innisfail in the far north, Queensland’s premier rugby league competition will be a major drawcard in six regional communities.
QRL directors and staff will join NRL Ambassadors and Game Development personnel in Charters Towers, Bundaberg, Blackall, Dalby, Stanthorpe and Innisfail over the course of the weekend.
“We believe Country Week is one of the most important events on the QRL calendar,” QRL head of football Neil Wharton said today.
“We’re well aware of just how vital rugby league in country areas is to the game’s future and it’s important that we provide as much support as possible to our regional clubs and their communities.”
Wharton said the QRL was again proud to partner with the Queensland Government’s Get in the Game initiative in 2015.
With the stature of ‘Get in the Game’ Country Week on the rise each year, the QRL has this season been able to broaden the round’s reach through its support of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
“Rugby league and the Royal Flying Doctor Service are always striving to reach out across Queensland and both have an important role to play in so many communities,” Wharton said.
The RFDS will have a strong presence at each ground, with their commitment even extending to a free mobile dental service operating in Blackall throughout the week.
A percentage of gate takings from all venues will be donated to the non-for-profit organisation, which prides itself on taking care of rural Australians through the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology.
RFDS Queensland CEO Nino Di Marco met with QRL representatives and the captains of the Easts Tigers (Dane Hogan) and Souths Logan Magpies (Phil Dennis) to launch the new alliance.
“A lot of what we do is around mental health and promoting better health and well-being in rural and remote communities,” Di Marco told QRL TV.
“I think everyone is aware that 80 percent of the state is drought declared. That creates a lot of hardship for people living in rural areas, so what we’re trying to do is create a lot more community activity.
“Engaging with the Queensland Rugby League and promoting a good healthy lifestyle which includes sport is a great way for us to achieve this.”
Wharton said Country Week was about much more than six games of football.
“Each venue will feature pre-match and game day activities for the enjoyment of all members of the community,” he said.
“A good example is Stanthorpe, which is hosting the Channel 9 television match between Burleigh Bears and Sunshine Coast.
“From Friday onwards, there will be NRL development clinics, League Tag, coaches updates, referees’ training and of course the big gala dinner at the Stanthorpe Civic Centre on the Saturday night.”
‘Get in the Game’ Country Week (supporting the RFDS)
Saturday, August 15
Townsville Blackhawks v Ipswich Jets, 5pm @ Bill Lewis Oval, Charters Towers
CQ Capras v Tweed Heads Seagulls, 6:30pm @ Salter Oval, Bundaberg
Easts Tigers v Souths Logan Magpies, 7pm @ Blackall Showgrounds, Blackall
Norths Devils v Mackay Cutters, 7pm @ Dalby Leagues Ground, Dalby
Sunday, August 16
Sunshine Coast Falcons v Burleigh Bears, 1:40pm @ Sullivan Oval, Stanthorpe (*TV Ch9)
Redcliffe Dolphins v Northern Pride, 2pm @ Callendar Park, Innisfail
PNG Hunters v Wynnum Manly Seagulls, 2:30pm @ BSP Stadium, Port Moresby