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Community Corner: North riding a wave of success

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again... how good is to be a North Queenslander?

We’re still on cloud nine up here, celebrating a great win from an amazing XXXX League Championship final on Saturday, July 30.

Congratulations to Townsville on claiming that title. And not just that, but congratulations on how you represented not just your town, but the whole of North Queensland.

I have heard many conversations in and around North Queensland and much of the praise has been for co-coaches Roy Baira and Matty Bowen and their team of champions that went out on Saturday.

It’s the kind of win that could have a flow-on effect, right back down to the grassroots.

And that’s where our attention turns now the XXXX League Championship is done for another year.

Like most places, we are starting to get into the back end of the season where the competition ramps up and we have many of our last pool rounds before the leagues head into their finals series.

We have had an amazing increase on our participation numbers this season. In fact, we’ve blown it out of the park with growth in both the male and female space, with just under 14,500 playing our game in 2022.

To be reaching finals now, it’s an exciting time.

Outside of finals, we are also starting to really focus on our RISE programs and camps up here.

It’s well underway with three programs already over the halfway point and we have reached our expected quota of numbers with just over 600 participants taking part in RISE programs across the North.

Mount Isa will see the kick off of their RISE program this year, with their first session starting this week, while Bamaga’s camp has postponed to October 7-9, with that RISE opportunity a first for that area and something we hope to build on in 2023.

RISE is an exciting pathway and is still in its infancy being only in its second year.

It’s been highly supported up here in North Queensland. We have such quality coaches that are leading our program in all our areas and these programs will then culminate with our carnival, from the which our under 14 boys from Bamaga will still get to attend despite the delay with their camp.

This carnival will be held in Townsville from September 19-22, and it’s an opportunity for our teams to play against each other, come up against people they might not normally verse, and put all their practice into action.

This will also coincide with a Northern referees camp, making it a holistic carnival for all to be involved.

Our referees will of course work on their on-field coaching but also who they are off the field.

A big part of the RISE program focuses on our off-field manner and looks at not just being a great player – or match official, in this case – but a wonderful human being overall.

Education has become such a huge part of rugby league and will continue to remain one of the most, if not the most, important parts of being in our game.

We all have a part to play in ensuring we’re continually educating and having a great impact on those around our game – players, fans volunteers, referees and more.

Acknowledgement of Country

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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