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The 2022 Outer Islands tour.

All of the administration and education sessions we deliver are important but our forum on Thursday Island this Saturday will be especially so.

People will be coming far and wide from the outer islands of the Torres Strait and northern Cape York Peninsula for the landmark event to help kickstart competitions in our most remote part of the state in 2023.

Rugby league is the sport of choice up there so we need to make sure we’re aiding and supporting local administrators and volunteers as much as we possibly can in order to feed their passion.

We’ve also coupled the administration conference with NRL game development to make it a wholistic education weekend – including coaching and sports trainer courses – so visitors get total bang for their buck for their efforts to attend.

Just like other administration conferences we’ve run, we’re out to ensure we’re assisting and empowering our volunteers and giving them the best resources and content available to facilitate rugby league, which is thriving on Thursday Island post COVID-related interruptions.

We’ve been working particularly hard behind the scenes with the Northern Peninsula Area (NPA) Regional Council, based in Bamaga, and local rugby league committee to get similar organised competition back under way.

The 2022 Outer Islands tour.
The 2022 Outer Islands tour.

There have been some successful conversations and many of those NPA representatives will come across to Thursday Island on the weekend to ensure we can support them as much as possible.

An additional aspect of that support will also be delivering a three-day camp in Bamaga in April as part of our RISE player development program.

Former Queensland Maroons assistant coach and NRL coach Neil Henry – the national RISE head coach – will deliver this initiative focusing on physical, socio-emotional, technical and tactical development and skills to give participants the tools to thrive as people and players.

Through a working partnership with Torres Strait Island Regional Council, we’re also on our way towards having an incorporated association encompassing players in the outer islands so they can come together for ‘clusters’ of matches throughout the year.

Excitingly, Island of Origin is back on Badu Island in June, with talks on the possibility of having a 'legends of league' game as a curtain raiser for the first time. 

The annual outer islands camps are also returning prior to Easter in the April school holidays.

The visits to Warraber (Sue) and Kubin (Moa) islands will be another opportunity to upskill junior players aged 9 to 12, their coaches, and give QRL and NRL an invaluable opportunity to learn about local customs and the barriers people overcome just to play our great game.

In the meantime, trial games are in full swing in other parts of the North with men’s A Grade competitions kicking off from March 25.

Shout out

A shout out to North Thuringowa player and coach Stevie Dyer and Townsville Blackhawks Harvey Norman Under 19 assistant coach Rebecca Petersen for organising a hugely successful Rugby League Townsville and Districts girls gala day. Along with designing the program, the pair put in countless hours getting the word around the community through schools and clubs to get girls aged 6 to 16 involved and it ran like a dream. A shout also to all the volunteers involved, including six members of the Blackhawks Harvey Norman Under 19 team.

Key dates

March 11 – Thursday Island administration forum

March 11-12 - RISE head coach and program manager weekend

March 25-26 - Far North Queensland/Cairns A Grade men opening weekend

April 1-2 – Townsville and Mackay A Grade men opening weekend

April 1-2 – Crocs to Canetoads Under 15 boys and Under 16 girls carnival weekend

Celebrating our team

Jade Johnson

Role: Area manager Mackay/Mt Isa/Mid-West  

Hometown: Mackay      

Favourite Maroons player: Pat Carrigan

Favourite Maroons Origin moment: It would have to be Game III in 2022 – the last 10 minutes was the best end to game I have watch in a very long time.  

Why you love your job: I love my job for lots of different reason. I love watching our game, working with the volunteers, the kids and my work colleges. I am so proud to work for the greatest game of all and that it provides a foundation for so many people to be involved on so many levels. 

What Jade bring to the team: ‘Jadey’ is our little ray of sunshine in the Northern team. She brings people together through her knowledge, guidance and support in the friendliest way. She is such a vital part of our northern team and is driven in ensuring everyone has an opportunity to play or be involved in our great game whilst ensuring the best possible experience is on offer.

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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