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Medal honours for inspirational Maroons duo

Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons coach Tahnee Norris has paid tribute to 2022 award winners Ali Brigginshaw and Sarah Walker.

Maroons skipper Brigginshaw received the Annie Banks Medal, while team manager Walker claimed the Renae Kunst Medal at the annual QRL Awards at Brisbane City Hall last Friday, September 23.

Both the Annie Banks Medal (Maroons’ best player) and the Renae Kunst Medal (spirit award) were new additions to this year’s honour roll.

Norris said Brigginshaw was a fitting recipient of an award that carried the name of Annie Banks, who has worked tirelessly over many years to provide participation opportunities for aspiring female players.

Annie Banks and Ali Brigginshaw. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Annie Banks and Ali Brigginshaw. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

“Her leadership and what she produces on the field (is exceptional),” Norris said of Brigginshaw.

“She’s a big game player and when the chips are down you can always rely on her. She’s that key individual that really stands up when things get hard, and the girls rely on that.

“They really respect what Ali’s contribution is both on and off the field. She really brings the girls together.

“The way she contributes off the field is a massive part of her journey as well, and the girls look up to her for that.”

Renae Kunst and Sarah Walker. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL
Renae Kunst and Sarah Walker. Photo: Erick Lucero/QRL

Former Maroons player Walker was a popular recipient of the Renae Kunst Medal, named after the current QRL Northern Region Manger who forged a reputation as one of Queensland’s most competitive players during her on-field days.

“I was really excited for Sarah to receive that award,” Norris said.

“She’s represented Queensland as a player but to bring her back into the mix I just knew she would have an impact.

“Sarah stepped into that team manager role and I just couldn’t fault her. She was amazing with what she contributed to the team off the field.

“She went above and beyond to make sure the girls could perform at their best.

"Sarah’s just such a great person to have around the group and I really look forward to having ‘Walks’ in that role in the years to come.”

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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