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Community corner: Get set for mega carnival season

One of the biggest carnival seasons is coming for Queensland Rugby League Central region and with that comes a massive undertaking behind the scenes to make sure all of our participants can have the best experience.

The Adrian Vowles Cup marks its 10th edition in Charleville next week. From humble beginnings it has grown into one of the biggest junior carnivals hosted in our region during the year.

It’s now bursting at the seams, with 42 teams of Under 14 Boys, Under 16 Boys and Under 17 Girls from 28 clubs coming this year from as far as Mt Isa, and the South East region.

For some junior teams it’s a rare chance at a camp-like experience for players, coaches and parents to get to know each other better before their seasons begin.

It’s the same opportunity for the referees, who get to test their skills and build confidence by officiating several matches in a day and improving and having mentors there to educate them.

Our Outback league and club coordinator Peter Rafter has been putting in a mountain of work, among others, to prepare the schedule and should be commended.

The huge logistical undertaking of getting eight men’s and six women’s teams worth of players and support staff to Emerald for XXXX 47th Battalion carnival from April 29-30 is also well under way.

New to the calendar is the Reconciliation and Memorial Day in Chinchilla on May 27 as we pause to remember police officers Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow, who lost their lives in the line of duty late last year.

The day, which will incorporate a come-and-try event with NRL players, junior fixtures and senior feature games, is designed to bring the community together and help the healing from the tragedy.

The main games will have the Central Crows Open Women and Frank Fisher Indigenous Open Men against respective women’s and men’s teams representing Queensland Police Service.

Members of the QRL Board and local dignitaries including high-ranking QPS officials and elected representatives have indicated they will be in attendance.

On another note, junior rugby league is under way in our region with Rockhampton Junior Rugby League fixtures starting last week. Numbers are up, especially in the girls age groups. We hope to see that trend continue as we near the start of the rest of our junior and senior leagues in 2023.

We’ve also launched expressions of interest for coaches and support staff for our junior and senior Queensland Outback teams set to play later this year. Applications close on February 28.


Applications are now open for the Queensland Outback Representative teams. Our Senior Men and Women Coaches and...

Posted by Rugby League - Queensland Outback on Monday, January 30, 2023

Shout out

Nadia Hoad, president of Central West Rugby League, has been doing a fantastic job since starting her tenure in December, driving new fixturing to help prioritise opportunities for regional representative pathways for players in Winton, Longreach/Ilfracombe, Barcaldine, Blackall, Alpha into Queensland Outback teams. Knowing the carrot is there is no doubt going to help participation levels.

Key dates

Date Event
February 18 Longreach 9s
February 24-25 Adrian Vowles Cup, Charleville
February 25 Sunshine Coast Super 9s
March 4 Kristen Albeck 9s, Roma

Celebrating our team

Sarah Bax

Role: League and club coordinator, Sunshine Coast

Hometown: Mount Isa, traditional lands of the Kalkadoon people

Favourite Maroons player: Coen Hess (we have a connection as he was a Mount Isa junior. We took him on many of his first rep trips and have a friendship with this family)

Favourite Origin moment: When I had the opportunity to bring my family along to an Origin game all the way from Mount Isa. The smiles on their faces and the enjoyment of the atmosphere was a special moment, even if our kids fell asleep by half-time and had to lay along our legs.

Why you love your job: I really enjoy connecting with people and in my current role I get to do this every day. I get so much enjoyment of seeing a club succeed and seeing kids on the footy field is the best reward. I have a passion for governance and rules and really like to get clubs to see this area isn’t scary and small steps make big differences. Football to me is about family and community and that’s why I love to include mine whenever I can.

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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