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Community corner: Eager players sign up in droves

There’s something in the water in the Queensland Rugby League South East region, with an astounding number of player registrations flowing in early from juniors right through to seniors.

While up 20 per cent across the board compared to the same date last year, our most significant trends are coming in girls aged three to seven years up 43 per cent, senior males up 37 per cent and Under 6 to Under 7 up 12.5 per cent.

We can’t read too much into how the early trends will translate into our final figures, but it’s a promising sign.

There’s bound to be several factors at play, but the eagerness for the Under 6 and Under 7 age groups in particular indicates the game is more attractive because of the player development framework in these age groups and the Tackle Ready program.

Mic'd up kids: SEQ under 7s play first game of tackle

None of these promising numbers could be possible without the volunteers who have put in the effort to make the process so easy for people who want to get involved.

Individuals are generally responsible for their registrations but in the junior age groups it’s down to the parents having to learn those systems as well so we’re thankful they’re going through the training modules available for those platforms to allow more people to experience our game.

Without those people, we’re not getting people to register, which could be a barrier to participating, so we’re grateful to the work they’ve done to get people in early, as the figures reflect.

We’ve got education sessions running thick and fast throughout the region, with two in Brisbane last weekend, taking club administrators through all they need to know for season 2023, including around accreditation compliance for coaches and sports trainers.

Every new player needs a team to go to and that team needs a coach, a sports trainer and a manager and people that do those things to help people get their kids on the ground.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to volunteer and get involved and we’re certainly going to need more of them if the registrations trends continue the way they are.

Another of our key drivers include Play Something Unreal Festival events and Roads to Regions, which have been taken to Ipswich recently.

With so many communities in and around Ipswich badly affected by flooding in 2022, we saw it important to deliver those events with NRL game development officers to drive participation around Ipswich and do our bit to further strengthen community spirit through rugby league.

On top of that we have the continuation of the Educating the Female Athlete days in recent weeks to provide opportunities for coaches, team managers and players themselves to gain greater knowledge leading into the season about what to consider when coaching female athletes or being a female athlete and what they can do to be more successful, even outside rugby league.

The well supported sessions held at Valleys and Ipswich also included critical wellbeing information centred on sleep, nutrition, other methods of support available through the year.

Showing we’re not just about how to catch and pass is an important part of what being a person in the rugby league family is all about and we know it helps retain people in our game.

Shout out

A shout out to our Gold Coast referees who have put in some incredibly hard yards in the offseason to get ready for 2023. About 50 officials, including female and male mentors, completed a preseason development camp at Tallebudgera on February 10-12 covering the safe play code, PEP and brushing up on the laws of the game to get ready for another bumper season ahead.

Key dates

February 26: Ipswich Club Administrators’ Conference

February 28: Teams nominations deadline for South East A-grade leagues

March 3: SEQ Female Team nomination deadline

March 11: Play Something Unreal Festival, Logan Metro Sports Centred

March 18: Most seasons kick-off

Celebrating our team

Josh Vlcek

Role: Administration support - QRL South East            

Hometown: Wangaratta, Victoria

Favourite Maroons player: Cameron Smith (biased Melbourne Storm fan)    

Favourite Maroons Origin moment: Born in NSW and grew up an NSW fan but being unbiased the 2020 series was a phenomenal win for the Maroons, dubbed the worst Queensland of all time and managed to pull off the series win.        

Why I love my job: The versatility in my role. Working as a region employee, I get the chance to work with a large range of people in a large range of tasks and projects supporting the South East region. 

What Josh brings to the team: Josh is a diligent and efficient team member that ties together our three leagues in the South East through a methodical approach to his work. In a few short months, Josh has shown he is great at foreshadowing the projects or tasks that are on the horizon and bring them to the team early to be organised. Josh has a great work ethic and is showing great value to South East team early in his career at the QRL.

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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