This weekend, the fifth annual Adrian Vowles Cup will be held in Charleville with a record 20 teams set to attend this year's carnival.
All flights to Charleville are booked out as well as most of the accommodation in town with the footy being the major contributing reason.
Originally organised by Vowles himself, the carnival was created to give Under 14 kids in outback areas more footy and has been coordinated with the assistance of Shaun Radnedge and Grant Bignell – all who are mates and grew up together in Charleville.
The event has grown from three Under 14 boys teams participating in 2014 to now 20 teams in 2018, with a mix of Under 14 and Under 16 teams participating.
Teams this year are coming from Redcliffe, Redlands, Toowoomba, Mount Isa and Mackay and they will join several other teams from “nearby” outback towns.
The only local team is the Western Ringers, which comprises of players from Charleville and Cunnamulla.
The next nearest team participating is Mitchell, which is a "quick" 180km trip down the road.
Some of the teams participating are returning after their experience last year; some because they are mates with Vowles and some because the coaches come from the outback and want their kids to experience the lifestyle.
Regardless of the reason they’re coming, they are assured of a great weekend.
Most of the teams will be camping at the showgrounds and will have meals cooked by locals.
In a first for the carnival, Under 14 girls will be included at the carnival with any interested girls from the outback being invited to attend training sessions on the Saturday.
This will be followed by games, witnessed by Vowles, who was last year’s Queensland Women’s coach.
He will also be joined by a Queensland and Australian Jillaroo great as a special guest.
Any interested girls just need to attend the Charleville Showgrounds by 9am on Saturday to register and to receive follow up information of more exciting initiatives for the future.
This will give those girls the chance to be selected in the first ever Under 14 girls Queensland Outback team.
The Queensland Health and Ambulance Services Minister Mr Steven Miles MP will officially open the carnival at 2.30pm on Friday before the first game kicks off at 3pm.
Petero Civoniceva and Steve Renouf will be in attendance on Friday with Civoniceva returning on Sunday to visit schools in Cunnamulla and Charleville with QRL and NRL staff and members of the HOPE Project.
All players, including the girls, will be participating in a presentation by former New Zealand and Samoan representative and current Central Division Wellbeing and Education Manager David Faiumu, who will speak on a number of issues including social media and how to handle the everyday pressures of being a teenager.
Central Division Chairman Danny McGuire and Central Division Manager Glenn Ottaway will also be attending to assist at the carnival.
At the end of the weekend, Vowles will announce his ‘Dream Team’ comprising of the best players during the carnival selected by himself and will be presented with a commemorative jersey.
The winners of each grade will also be presented with their trophy, then the social side of the event will really kick in with all teams and officials mingling and enjoying the stories of the weekend.
This event is one of the most enjoyable weekends in the Outback Rugby League carnival and one that should be added to the bucket list to attend in future years.