This year, on the weekend of May 19 and 20, Cloncurry is hosting the Queensland Rugby League Arthur Beetson Foundation Outback Junior Carnival.
This carnival will be one of the largest rugby league events ever to be held in Outback Queensland with approximately 114 junior players along with team officials, NRL Development Officers, QRL representatives and QRL Board Members as well as the Queensland Police Commissioner in attendance.
As well as junior outback representative teams playing in the carnival, the Queensland Police will also host an expo for the players, along with NRL Development doing social welfare and educational programs.
Junior players attending this carnival will travel from outback towns right around Queensland such as Mitchell, Morven, Charleville, Quilpie, Cunnamulla, Augathella, Tambo, Blackall, Barcaldine, Aramac, Ilfracombe, Longreach, Winton, Doomadgee, Normanton, Mount Isa and the local Cloncurry boys.
Some players will travel nearly 2480 klms (round trip) just to attend this weekend.
At the completion of this carnival, Queensland Outback Junior Representative (Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18) teams will be selected to attend the 2017 Glyn Rees City-Country Cultural Exchange carnival at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast (June 23-25).
Some players who gain selection in those teams will endure a 30-hour bus trip just to attend. Kids in the bush just love their footy!
Another highlight of the carnival will be the game played between the Queensland Police Representative team and the Northern Invitational A Grade Outback side.
Current North Queensland Toyota Cowboy NRL player and Queensland Emerging Origin squad member Coen Hess played at the inaugural Queensland Outback Junior Carnival at Winton in 2011.