The annual Justin Hodges Nines kicks off at the Kawana Sports Precinct on the Sunshine Coast today.
More than 80 teams are set to take the field to play a round-robin format in one of the largest school rugby league participation carnivals in the state.
Hodges said the carnival was a great opportunity for so many kids to participate in the game and connect with their local clubs.
“I think it’s important these kids play our game and find out how successful you can be at it.”
In the carnival’s sixth year, Hodges highlighted his satisfaction in seeing its growth and success in recent years.
“It’s so rewarding when you see so many kids and I’m just happy to have my name to it,” he said.
In partnership with the QRL, NRL and Brisbane Broncos, this year’s event will also see all Year 10 teams participate in the NRL CareerWise program led by NRL Pathways Manager Luke Williamson.
He’ll be joined by ex-NRL players and CareerWise ambassadors Andrew Ryan (Canterbury Bulldogs) and Ray Thompson (North Queensland Cowboys) to share their career experiences and what influenced their playing careers.
Federal Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash will also be attending to speak on the importance of vocational education.
Games kick off at 9am with the finals to start at 1pm.