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Record player numbers in Far North QLD

The interest and participation in junior rugby league in the Cairns District is on track for a record number of registrations, with figures this week surpassing 2000 players for those aged 5–17 in the local junior league.

The participation level in the Innisfail and Eacham (Tablelands) District is also stable with 850 junior players playing rugby league in 2018. 

The growth of female participation continues to rise, with 264 girls pulling on the boots to play in 2018.

Game Day fixtures, with an average of 60 games played each week encompassing 19 clubs from Ravenshoe to Tully, are a weekly ritual for families throughout the Far North.

The management and running of junior competition this size takes an army of volunteers and many months of preparation prior to the season kicking off, recruiting, registering and training staff and volunteers.

The NRL Development team have facilitated 28 courses throughout the district, covering all aspects of the game including Coaching, Sports Trainer Courses (First Aid), Referee and on-line administration courses enabling volunteers to gain the required rugby league accreditation.

The QRL Northern Division also hosted administration conferences and tribunal updates to assist club and League officials in their roles in the game.


Innisfail Brothers players.
Innisfail Brothers players.

Lead NRL Game Development Officer for Cairns Alby Anderson said all courses had good attendance numbers with volunteers keen to gain information and access the current training and game methodology.

"Volunteers are also finding our new NRL My League App a great resource," he said.

"Coaches in selected clubs are further supported with the NRL / QRL Coach Mentoring Program, unique to North Queensland."

The junior leagues have also placed a strong emphasis on crowd and participants behaviour, with several members being handed significant suspensions for breaches to the National Code of Conduct this year.

Cairns District Junior Rugby League President, Ian Lydiard, said the League was committed to regular education on the games expectations of behaviour for all the rugby league community, with any negative incidents dealt with under the QRL Rules.

"There have been a couple of disappointing incidents this year," he said.

"But overall with the numbers of participants and games played each week, all clubs are to be commended on the work and education they are doing in this field."

Whilst the local CDRL comp takes a break for the Foley Shield, junior fixtures will be played this weekend.

The local junior representative teams for the North Queensland Championships being played in Townsville June 8-10, have also been named this week, with 240 players selected to represent their League.