The Sunshine Coast Bunyas, with the son of Queensland Maroons legend Artie Beetson at the helm as president, will host a new Indigenous rugby league carnival this weekend.
The Sunshine Coast Bunyas Knockout tournament will see more than two dozen teams from across the southeast converge on Nambour to compete from October 15-17.
Bunyas president Brad Beetson said he was thrilled to see an Indigenous carnival on the Sunshine Coast, given there was plenty of "good young footballers running around".
So far, 14 teams from Brisbane, Cherbourg, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Goondiwindi and more have registered to compete within under 14, under 16, under 18 boys and girls, and open men’s and women’s divisions.
“For them to be able to showcase what they can do will be good,” Beetson told The Courier-Mail.
"There’s nothing better than rugby league to bring everyone together and celebrate our culture, talent and the Sunshine Coast.
“We really hope it will provide a platform through the vehicle of rugby league to draw communities together and connect people... something that has been missing since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s going to be a huge boost not only for our families and players but also for Nambour and the beautiful Sunshine Coast.
"It will be a great opportunity to showcase the beautiful homelands of the Kabi Kabi peoples and Jinibara peoples of the Sunshine Coast and pay our respects."
Beetson said teams were competing for a share in the $6000 prize pool.
“Women’s rugby league is the fastest growing area of the game and we are thrilled the Knockout will have both women and girls playing,” Beetson said.
Sunshine Coast Council Division 10 Councillor David Law said it was a great initiative.
The event will open with a smoking ceremony on Friday night followed by an exhibition game, the match draw, and community activities, markets, and a raffle.
Spectators are welcome to the Nambour Rugby League Club and must follow any COVIDSafe regulations in place.
Registrations to play are still open; to register, click here.