Every year, something is new and exciting is announced about the Arthur Beetson Foundation Queensland Murri Carnival; (the QRL’s flagship Indigenous rugby league event) – and 2018 is no different.
This year, the Queensland Murri Carnival has been split into two events; with the Junior Carnival taking place at an earlier time and different venue from the Senior Carnival.
The Junior Carnival has been staged at the home of the Redcliffe Dolphins (Dolphin Stadium).
- The competition is continuing today (September 24) – watch the livestream at the Murri Rugby League Arthur Beetson Facebook page here --> Murri Carnival ABF Facebook
The senior component of the carnival will be held at Townsville Sports Reserve from the October 4 to October 7.
As always, the Queensland Murri Carnival will be anchored around better life outcomes for the community and is an alcohol, smoke, drug and sugar free event where the players all have to have completed a Form 715 health check and the juniors achieving a 90% school attendance.
This year, following the tragic passing of Jim Stevens – the much loved and respected Under 16 Queensland Murri Boys state coach at the young age of 42 – all coaches and officials will also complete the health check.
In another first for Queensland; this year’s Junior Carnival included an Under 17 Girls division to help build a pathway to senior football for female players.
The Juniors took part in workshops where they learned more about Indigenous culture, mental health, healthy relationships from strong safe Murri mentors in Momentim (Boys) and Deadly Sistas (Girls); physical health, healthy eating, dieting and exercise from the Deadly Choices team and the importance of education from Education Queensland
The Senior Carnival also has some exciting firsts to look forward to this year.
As stated; the carnival leaves SEQ for the first time and will be played up north in Townsville.
The timing comes as Palm Island celebrates its 100 years and teams from the island will be able to take part in the statewide carnival for the first time.
The Senior Carnival will be presented by the Bindal Sharks and will be a more community-focused event with a restriction on elite players in each team.
Event organiser Jenny Pryor said this new rule would allow a broader representation of mobs from across the state and also give a chance for new talent to be showcased.
Pryor was particularly excited that as part of honouring the Far North Queensland Murri legends at the event; former Maroon Matty Bowen had nominated a team and would be playing.
He recently helped guide his Centrals team to a drought-breaking title in the Townsville A Grade competition.
Video: Matty Bowen cuts loose in Townsville GF
Brad Beetson said that his father Arthur Beetson would be proud of this year’s firsts.
“Dad always wanted every kid to have the same chances in life and footy,” Beetson said.
“He would have that big smile on his face knowing that his family and friends are living his legacy by giving a helping hand to others.”
The chair of the Arthur Beetson Foundation Steven Johnson expressed his gratitude to the ABF’s long time partners, the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health (Deadly Choices) and QAIHC who with QRL and the Federal and State Governments continue to allow rugby league to be a game that matters and not just a sport.
Mr Johnson said it was fitting that in the year of NAIDOC’s theme “Because Of Her I Can” that the QMC had been organised by two outstanding Murri women in Jenny Pryor and Karita Button.
*This story was published on behalf of Queensland Murri Carnival Media.