Rugby league has always been the number one sport of choice for Cape York communities in Far North Queensland.
However, Kowanyama locals have raised the bar to give the game in their region a more consistent and sustainable model for the future.
Late last year, Kowanyama Sport & Rec officer Kevin Bell put in a phone call to the QRL Head Office in Cairns asking for a QRL sanctioned carnival to celebrate the opening of the new rugby league oval in May.
Although it was a great idea, the QRL / NRL staff were committed to other representative duties that same weekend.
So it was proposed that the local community could administer this carnival with game day support and they would have accredited referees, coaches and sports trainers in attendance.
Eight passionate rugby league locals from the Kowanyama community flew into Cairns to undertake the training with the NRL Game Development Officers and Regional Development Officers and had an amazing experience learning in the classroom - and most importantly – out on the field as well.
Assistant QRL Northern Regional Manager Robbie Moore was thrilled with the outcome.
“It’s very pleasing to see the local community all getting behind the rugby league field opening in May with Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, Queensland Sport & Rec & QRL / NRL all working together for great community outcomes,” he said.
“Not only will they administer their own Indigenous carnival in May, they will be sustainable and have the capacity to supply referees, sports trainers and coaches into the future (including) for the upcoming Gulf competition set to start in May.”