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Rugby league spirit recognised in year like no other

The Queensland Rugby League congratulate this year’s Queensland Community Award winners, acknowledging their hard work and dedication to keep rugby league prospering during a challenging 2020 season.

Dirranbandi Frogs Junior Rugby League has been named the QRL grassroots club of the year, whilst integral Maranoa stalwart Trent Knight was judged the volunteer of the year.

In a township of only 640, the Dirranbandi committee work tirelessly to ensure there is an opportunity for children in the Balonne Shire to lace up the boots and play rugby league.

Even with only seven participants registering to play in 2020, a number of dedicated volunteers ensured the club continued to field teams from under 6 to under 12 to support the local community.

Despite being dealt an extra challenge with the closure of the Queensland / New South Wales border in this COVID-affected year, the Frogs happily put their hand up to host game days for St George and Lightning Ridge, keeping the Balonne / Barwon season alive.

Dirranbandi is located in the Balonne Shire, 600 kilometres west of Brisbane.
Dirranbandi is located in the Balonne Shire, 600 kilometres west of Brisbane.

Just 300 kilometres north on the Carnarvon Highway, Trent Knight is the lifeblood of the Wallumbilla / Surat Red Bulls.

The 30-year-old – who first pulled on a Red Bulls jersey in 2004 – is the club’s vice president, Reserve Grade coach, maintenance manager and game day and event organiser… and when he’s not doing one of these roles, he’s typically on the field playing in the club’s A Grade side.

There is nothing within the club Knight has not done or organised. Knight has also been the driving force behind the club’s annual Kirsten Albeck Memorial Nines Day, which has raised more than $130,000 over the past five years.

Trent Knight is the 2020 QRL volunteer of the year.
Trent Knight is the 2020 QRL volunteer of the year.

QRL managing director Rob Moore praised the efforts of all volunteers across the state in this difficult season.

“There’s no doubting this year has been a challenging one for our volunteers and clubs,” Moore said.

“But despite the difficulties brought on by COVID-19, our volunteers and clubs worked extremely hard to abide by the protocols that allowed community rugby league to return across the state.

“Congratulations to our winners, but also to all our hard-working and dedicated volunteers who are the lifeblood of community rugby league in Queensland.

“It’s an honour to be part of a wider rugby league family that is always there to help each other through the challenging times and the good times.”

With both state honours hailing from the Central Region, north and southeast Queensland also named finalists for their respective regions.

Rugby League Mackay and District chair Adam Wright was recognised for his leadership in ensuring the game kicked off in north Queensland; while the entire RLMD were acknowledged for their collaborative approach to return every competition from under 6 to A Grade.

In the South East, the Albany Creek Crushers were named SEQ’s grassroots club of the year for their above and beyond approach to make sure the club remained open as an integral part of the north Brisbane community.

Thaiday lines up for Albany Creek Crushers

Wayne Court was also recognised for his 15 years of service to the Helensvale Hornets and greater Gold Coast Rugby League.

Visit QRL.com.au in the coming weeks to learn more about the 2020 Community Award winners from each region across the state.