The XXXX Maroons will connect with one of Queensland’s most prolific Origin breeding grounds when the state’s flagship team travels to Mackay for its annual regional Fan Day this year.
QRL Managing Director Robert Moore and Maroons Head Coach Kevin Walters touched down in Mackay this morning to announce the northern city as the destination for the June 14 event.
The ‘XXXX Queensland Maroons Fan Day presented by Suncorp’ will provide thousands of fans throughout the region with the opportunity to meet their Maroon heroes.
Scheduled activities include a street parade starting on Gordon Street, luncheon at the Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre and junior clinic at Mackay’s BB Print Stadium.
A renowned rugby league stronghold, the Maroons have close ties to the region with a host of players, including current Origin winger Dane Gagai, coming from the area.
The Mackay District’s star-studded list of former Maroons includes Wendell Sailor, Dale Shearer, Martin Bella, Steve Jackson, Owen Cunningham, Travis Norton and Neville Costigan.
“This part of Queensland has produced some amazing talent over the years and hopefully our visit before Game II of this year’s series will inspire more young players to get involved in our great game,” Walters said.
“Our players take a lot away from these Fan Days too as they get to witness first hand just how passionate our supporters are.
“I still vividly remember the young family who travelled more than four hours to get autographs in Gladstone last year. As I’ve said a few times before, I don’t travel that far for a holiday.”
Moore said the QRL was delighted to support the team’s visit to Mackay.
“Like many regional communities, the Mackay District is going through a challenging period and we trust this event will bring some cheer to the area,” Moore said.
“We’re extremely proud of this program, which is now stronger than ever thanks to the support provided by Suncorp.
“It’s humbling to know that many regional fans, sporting bodies and businesses got so much out of previous Fan Days in Emerald, Bundaberg, Longreach, Proserpine and Gladstone.”
Mackay District Rugby League (MDRL) Chairman Troy Rovelli said planning was now in full swing for the big day.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the opportunity to host such a fabulous team and fine group of rugby league ambassadors,” Rovelli said.
“We can’t thank the QRL enough, as well as the Mackay Regional Council for their ongoing support of the game here.”
Due to the current economic climate, Rovelli said the MDRL was still searching for a major sponsor.
“This Maroons Fan Day will fortunately alleviate some of that financial pressure, as we hope to attract more than 400 guests to our luncheon in support of our local competition and development programs,” Rovelli said.