The Maroons will continue their proud connection with regional Queensland centres in need of a lift following confirmation the state’s favourite sporting team will travel to Gladstone in the lead-up to Game II.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters and QRL Managing Director Robert Moore were at Brisbane Airport today to announce the XXXX Queensland Maroons Gladstone Fan Day on June 14.
In what shapes as a fantastic day of celebration for the Central Queensland region, a street parade, sports luncheon and coaching clinic / autograph session will ensure a sea of maroon takes pride of place throughout the city.
Walters said the Maroons players and coaches had always embraced the fan day concept and this year’s trip to Gladstone will be no different.
“I’ve seen first-hand how much enjoyment regional Queenslanders get from having the Maroons in their backyard,” Walters said.
“When you think back to the amazing scenes in Proserpine last year, it really reinforces how much this team means to the people of Queensland.
“The Queensland players and coaching staff get a massive kick out of the fan days as well.”
Moore said the QRL Board was delighted to sign off on the visit to Gladstone in light of the region’s economic issues.
“We still receive some terrific feedback from people who in recent years have experienced fan days in Longreach, Bundaberg, Roma and Emerald,” Moore said.
“I’m sure the Gladstone event will have a major impact on the Central Queensland region too. One thing that separates us from NSW is the true state-wide nature of our team and our supporters.”
He praised the hard-working executive of the Gladstone & District Rugby League and their team of volunteers for the manner in which they have embraced the initiative to date.
Gladstone Rugby League Chairman Richard Duff was elated when advised of the news from the QRL.
“This is not only a history-making moment for rugby league fans throughout our region, but it is something that our community really needs right now,” he said.
“It is the most positive thing that has happened in a long time and we are both grateful and appreciative that the QRL has deemed Gladstone to be the host for this year’s XXXX Queensland Maroons Fan Day.”
Gladstone Regional Council CEO Stuart Randle echoed Duff’s sentiments.
“Everyone involved with Gladstone Rugby League has done a wonderful job in securing this event for Gladstone at a time when we could all do with a bit of a lift,” Randle said.
“Gladstone Regional Council is working very closely with the GRL to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be for the arrival of the team and that everyone who comes along has a fantastic day.
“It’s not every day that the State of Origin team turns up in your backyard, so we’ll certainly have the welcome mat out.”
Gladstone-based NRL Game Development Officer Rod Dahl will coordinate the coaching clinic, which will be held at Marley Brown Oval and Briffney Creek junior fields.
Details of the coaching clinic will be provided over the next couple of weeks through local schools. Tickets to the lunch go on sale today through the Entertainment Centre www.gladecc.com.au