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Adrian Vowles Cup to be the biggest yet

It started off as a pipe dream between two mates from Charleville seven years ago, and after years of hard work and continued growth, this year's Adrian Vowles Cup is set to be the biggest to date.

"The carnival started from a conversation between myself and local butcher Shaun 'Zoro' Radnedge," Vowles recalled.

"He rang me up one day and said … what do you think about getting a competition for the Under 14s to try and give them some footy because there’s no footy for them out here?"

The rest, as they say, is history.

Beginning in 2014 with only three Under 14 Boys teams from Charleville, Miles and the Central West participating, this year's event will see around 30 teams make the journey to the Murweh Shire - making it the biggest Adrian Vowles Cup to date.

Adrian Vowles Cup action in 2019. Photo: Mitch Wilson/QRL
Adrian Vowles Cup action in 2019. Photo: Mitch Wilson/QRL

This will include the introduction of an Under 16 Girls division to compliment the current Under 14 and Under 16 Boys competitions.

The increased growth to the annual event has been one the NRL and Super League journeyman hopes to continue.

"Our goal each year has been to just build on it – be it one extra team or ten extra teams," Vowles said.

"With the growth, an extra goal moving forward is getting another field constructed, which would require a bit of work, but it would allow the competition to keep on growing to include even more teams."

Not only is Vowles passionate about growing the greatest game of all, he's also passionate about giving back to his old stomping ground.

"This event doesn’t just help footy ... it helps Charleville and the surrounding towns who are doing it tough at the moment with the drought," Vowles said.

"It’s a very proud thing for us because not only are we helping rugby league, but we’re helping the local economy as well."

The ultimate hope for both Vowles and Radnedge is to ensure a rugby league pathway remains for kids in the west.

Adrian Vowles Cup team in 2019. Photo: Mitch Wilson/QRL
Adrian Vowles Cup team in 2019. Photo: Mitch Wilson/QRL

"We’re just trying to keep the game alive for the kids out here and give them the same opportunity that we had when we were younger," Vowles said.

"Hopefully one day we'll see some of these kids that have come through the carnival play Intrust Super Cup and / or NRL."

The 2020 Adrian Vowles Cup kicks off tomorrow in Charleville at 1.30pm.

Find out more on the Adrian Vowles Cup Facebook page.