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Community Corner: SEQ clubs getting back on their feet

When the floods hit southeast Queensland in February, I made a couple of predictions about our rugby league community.

I said the leagues and clubs would no doubt be hurting but they would show incredible resilience as they bounce back. I said our people would roll their sleeves up and respond with an eagerness to help.

And I said footy would be what unites everyone – that everyone will just want to get back to playing and being together.

I said these things because I know what the South East region has endured in the past and how we rise up to meet challenges.

It’s been a month and a half since those floods came through and the community has not only responded how I expected, but they have gone above and beyond.

They have adapted to any change that’s come about and they have found a way to get back to playing footy.

They keep turning up and doing that and it’s amazing to me. There’s no other words for it.

 

Flood? What flood? Footy is back at Easts Mt Gravatt tomorrow. U14 at 11am, men’s Div 3 at 2pm, men’s Div 2 at 3:30pm,...

Posted by Easts Mt Gravatt Jrlfc on Friday, April 1, 2022

Just this past weekend I was at Easts Mt Gravatt.

Their fields were inundated and they lost a fairly new ride-on mower in the floods.

But to be there, refereeing on their fields - which were in a fine condition - and to see how they had the club back up and running, knowing how high the water got, it was just incredible.

Queensland Rugby League was also able to recently inform the first round of clubs that they had received relief funding to assist with their rebuilds.

Supported by the NRL, Telstra, Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans and QRL, we were able to give grants of $5000 to 14 clubs, including the Brighton Roosters, Caboolture JRLC, Maryborough Brothers, Stanley River JRLC, Karalee Twin Rivers, Tweed Seagulls and more.

The process is now beginning on a second round for more clubs to get the opportunity to receive funding.

It’s fantastic to be able to support the local clubs in their efforts to get back on their feet.

For them to be able to use these funds where they actually need it is a great thing.

Beyond this, we also have commitments from the local leagues who want to contribute to help ensure clubs have got what they require to start the season.

It is so important to see neighbours help each other out in times of need such as this. It’s a very good story to tell about having collegiality in rugby league.

Rugby League Gold Coast chairman Peter Daley got the ball rolling when he decided to cancel his league’s season launch.

The launch was scheduled to happen shortly after a lot of clubs went underwater and he decided it wouldn’t be right to continue on with celebrations at such a time.

Instead, they have used the funds that were for the launch to buy $5000 worth of equipment for Norths Ipswich. This includes first aid kits, footballs, agility poles, tackling bags, cones and more.

The Rugby League Gold Coast board decided it was best to purchase the equipment and deliver it directly to the club so they could get back up and operating, providing valuable community service as soon as possible.

Rugby League Brisbane also cancelled their season launch and are looking at the best ways to distribute the funds.

Meanwhile, Ipswich Rugby League chair Dane McQueen and his board have pooled together all the equipment they could find to distribute among clubs to help them get their seasons started.

Ipswich Junior Rugby League is up and running for 2022. Photo: Nathan Booth
Ipswich Junior Rugby League is up and running for 2022. Photo: Nathan Booth

All of this generosity is really encouraging to see and just adds to the beauty of having rugby league back in the community.

It’s been enjoyable these last few weeks to get back out to the grounds and to see footy back.

To me, it’s normality.

All the preparation and all the hurdles mean nothing when the footy is finally kicked off. We still have our Gold Coast and Brisbane junior seasons to start after the Easter holidays – as well as the Ipswich under 13s to under 17s. 

And, in exciting news for our female game, the SEQ Women’s grading will happen this Sunday, April 10, in the lead up to the first Queensland-based NRLW grand final.

The opportunity arose for us to make it a celebration of female rugby league at Redcliffe so we jumped at the chance.

It gives us the chance to reflect on where we’ve come in the female game and for our young players to be at the same venue as NRLW players.

All players and staff have also been allocated complementary tickets to the grand final thanks to the NRL's region manager Owen Gregory.

It’s a great thing for our aspirational players.

If you can see it, you can be it.

Upcoming events in the QRL South East region

Date Event Place
Apr 10 SEQ Women's grading day Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe
Apr 15-18 Easter bye weekend for all community footy SEQ
Apr 23-24 RLB and RLGC junior seasons kick off Brisbane; Gold Coast
Apr 23-24 Rugby League Ipswich under 13s to under 17s kick off Ipswich
Apr 24 Runaway Bay ANZAC Charity Shield Bycroft Oval, Runaway Bay

 

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