With junior rugby league teams back enjoying their footy, Toowoomba Junior Rugby League president Dan Aldons is understandably a happy man.
His delight is shared by coaches, club officials and parents who have watched their children play in games across the Darling Downs for the past three weeks.
That the 2020 TJRL season is up and running is thanks to some tremendous work by dedicated club officials and volunteers.
But while Aldons was thrilled to see so many TJRL clubs on the field, he had another reason to offer some deserved praise.
Aldons said he appreciated how people involved with the Southern Suburbs Junior Rugby League went the extra mile to travel to Roma to give the Roma & District Junior Rugby League team a home fixture.
“I found it to be a great gesture from the Souths club to head out west to give the town a home game of junior rugby league,” Aldons said.
“They did not have to. The Roma & District under 15 side had committed to travel every week.
“On Saturday, the under 15 team, their coach, first aid officer and president all made the bus trip to Roma.
“To me, it was a very nice gesture from them,” Aldons said.
The TJRL kicked off three weeks ago with junior teams in the abridged competition from Toowoomba Brothers, Dalby, Pittsworth, Southern Suburbs, Toowoomba Valleys, Roma, and Collegians (Warwick).
In his fifth year as TJRL president, Aldons knows how valuable junior rugby league is.
“It was my vision and my intention throughout these challenging times to do everything humanly possible to make the return to play a reality for our junior rugby league players,” Aldons said.
Aldons praised club officials and volunteers for working tirelessly with parents and players to get the sport back up and running.
“We knew the extra effort it was going to put on club officials and volunteers, but it was a challenge we were willing to accept to get junior rugby league back up and running,” Aldons said.
“The grounds have been beaming for the fact that the junior rugby league players just loved it.
"They got to play footy.”
The TJRL is asking everyone to keep up the good work by continuing to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols and playing with good sportsmanship.
“We do not want to see the season shut down due to non-compliance with required protocols,” Aldons said.