For the love of the game - volunteers giving their all

National Volunteer Week has just wrapped up and the QRL celebrated by highlighting some of the great people who help make rugby league tick.

From May 20–26, 2019, thousands of events were held across the country to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer their time. For more information about National Volunteer Week, email Volunteering Australia

QRL correspondent James O'Reilly caught up with just some of the valuable volunteers who make our great game so special including Pat O'Brien from Norths, Kerry Crosbi from Wynnum Manly and the Wavell State High School dancers.

Wavell State High School senior dance troupe (main image)

“FIVE, SIX SEVEN, EIGHT………”

The halftime air is pierced with the sounds of Bruno Mars’ hit song, Uptown Funk and the nearly all-female senior dance troupe from the Wavell State High School in near perfect synchronisation break into dance. 

With the cheers of the crowd on the hill to support them; this high school dance troupe are more than happy to volunteer their time and talents in support of their community QRL team.

“We love the opportunity to volunteer in this way, we do it many times each season, it gives the students the opportunity to perform and grow in the public domain and hone their performing arts talents,” dance teacher Kelcey Kirkpatrick said.

“Some of the students in the troupe have aspiration to dance professionally after completing high school (and) some of them also play the game of rugby league in their private lives.”

Pat O'Brien - Norths Devils

“FISH AND CHIPS READY!”

An all too familiar shout out for Pat O’Brien who has been volunteering in the canteen at the home ground for her beloved Norths Devils for the past four years.

Pat has been coming to the footy for as long as she can remember.

Brisbane born and bred, she has lived on the northside her whole life and can’t understand why anyone would live anywhere else.

Every Saturday and Sunday, Pat comes down to the canteen and works from dawn to dusk, occasionally getting a quick glimpse of the games being played on both sides of the uniquely situated Bishop Park canteen that services two fields at once.

“I love watching the little ones run out,” she said. “They are so cute in their little shoulder pads and headgear.”

When asked why she does it her reply is two-fold.

“When you get to my age and station in life, you are looking for things to do in the community and I really love the game of rugby league.”

Kerry "Binga" Crosbie - Wynnum Manly Seagulls

The Wynnum Manly Seagulls Intrust Super Cup team gather in a circle in the sheds after a big win over Easts Tigers, and they are about to wax lyrical. 

But before they do, they thrust Kerry “Binga” Crosbie into the middle and start dousing him with all manner of beverages - water, Gatorade and more.

This is a tradition reserved for debutants, but today is different.

Today is Binga’s birthday and off they go. 

“We’re the boys from down they bay……..” 

They will never make the final of “The Voice” but they don’t care.  Binga gets soaked and pushed around the boys with all the affection that blokes can muster.

They finish with “…we’re the Seagulls flying high!” 

The smile on Binga's face runs ear to ear, you can tell he just loves it.  He loves the footy club; he loves being with the boys.

For 20 years, he has given all the spare time he can muster to his beloved Seagulls.

He eats, sleeps and drinks rugby league.  When he was quizzed on why he loves it so much his response was “Mateship!  I just love being with the boys.” 

His highlight over the past 20 years was the back-to-back premierships in 2011 and 2012.

He scurries around the dressing room gathering jerseys and ticking off lists and looks up with his unmistakable grin and declares, “maybe this is our year again.”

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Queensland Rugby League highlighted some of the great contributions of volunteers from across the state - keep an eye on QRL.com.au for more stories.

Get to know Souths Logan Magpies volunteer Joan Baillie

Get to know Gulf volunteer Sorren Owens

Get to know Adam Wright