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Community Corner: The epitome of rugby league

It has been really reassuring this year to see the quality people we have in rugby league.

Our South East region has faced a number of obstacles in 2022, mainly with the floods that have hit a lot of our clubs.

But still – even four months on – we are seeing communities band together to help each other out.

One of our hardest hit clubs was Brothers St Brendan’s at Rocklea. They still aren’t back up and running at their home ground but they have been taken care of.

Souths Sunnybank Rugby League Club have allowed Brothers St Brendan’s to share their grounds and facilities, which isn’t always easy to do but the easy option isn’t always the right one.

The spirit of helping a mate when they need it, lending a hand when it’s required, it epitomises what rugby league is about.

Brothers St Brendan's in the February floods.
Brothers St Brendan's in the February floods.

Souths Sunnybank have reached out to help a club survive the season by giving them somewhere to play and it’s reassuring to know that there’s people and clubs that are doing this for others.

It takes more than just teams on the field to enable things like this to happen. It takes an army of volunteers to make it happen.

I’ve said before that there is no game without our volunteers and I really mean it.

And we always need more of them.

We are seeing that at the moment with our Under 17 City female selection teams, with a need for more staff.

We will select squads in August that will then go on to play in a carnival in September, before a final team is chosen to take on the Country side on Hostplus Cup grand final day.

For the boys, the selections will be made from competitions across Queensland, particularly the Cyril Connell Challenge and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup that took place earlier this year.

But to accommodate these teams and matches, we need more trainers, coaches, managers – basically all staffing positions for those sides.

This opportunity is actually a great stepping stone for all once they become involved.

They learn from great coaches, like Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons coach Tahnee Norris, and can follow in the footsteps of people like Paul Brown and Paul Nieuwenhuyzen, who have helped coach and mentor the players through this age group and moved onto bigger things.

If anyone is wondering, ‘how do I become a Queensland Under 19 coach?’, this is how I would recommend getting involved.

It’s also a really great opportunity for our players, especially if they want to move through representative levels in the future.

It allows them to have a greater focus on their skill competency and development, as well as their ability in playing with new players.

We want all these people to come back next year with a lot more confidence and competence to continue in our game.

The girls' City Under 17 team in 2021. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
The girls' City Under 17 team in 2021. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

Every opportunity that can inspire a young kid in rugby league is a good one.

Another example of this is our Rugby League Gold Coast junior grand finals.

The announcement was made over the weekend that these matches will be played at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday September 3, in what is going to be a really momentous occasion for our juniors.

Imagine being a young kid and getting that opportunity to play in that stadium, on that stage, and to be on the same field that many of their heroes have played on.

It’s pretty unreal.

If you know a volunteer or club that deserves recognition for what they do, nominate them for the Queensland Rugby League Community Awards, via this link.

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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