Nominations are now open for Under 9s teams to compete in the annual Paul Bowman Challenge hosted by Proserpine Whitsunday Junior Rugby League in Proserpine on September 21-22.
The two-day competition, held at Proserpine Junior Sporting Complex, is named in honour of North Queensland Toyota Cowboys legend and life member Paul Bowman who was the first Proserpine / Whitsunday Brahmans junior to represent Queensland in State of Origin.
The carnival - now in it's 12th year - places an emphasis on participation, encouragement and good sportsmanship and has steadily grown in participation numbers over the years.
Each year at the carnival, a Sam Faust Memorial relay is held in memory of local Proserpine lad Sam Faust who played for North Queensland Cowboys and his family always come along to support the relay.
Bowman, affectionately known as 'Bear' played 203 games for Cowboys between 1995 and 2007 and was renowned as one of the best defensive centres in the competition.
He also captained the Cowboys and represented Queensland 12 times in State of Origin.
Even when the Cowboys have made the finals, Bowman, who is working as the club's High Performance Manager, and his family, attend one day of the carnival where he is a hit with fans and is kept busy with photos and signing autographs.
Last year's Paul Bowman Challenge eclipsed the 2017 event as the biggest since its inception.
In 2017, 56 teams took part, however a record of 72 teams laced up the boots and competed last year.
Main image: Paul Bowman with Mackay Devils Under 9s players who had success at last year's carnival.