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The RISE player development program has been honoured in Central Highlands Regional Council’s 2023 Sport and Active Recreation Awards.

Matt Dux was head coach of the Central Highlands RISE program, named in the Outstanding Sports Development Initiative category of the awards.

Dux said it was a privilege to deliver the program, developed by former Queensland Maroons assistant coach and former Canberra Raiders, North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans NRL coach Neil Henry.

RISE is the pathway beyond community rugby league for aspiring players and coaches.

QRL RISE coordinator Tammy Quirke said it was a credit to Dux and an amazing group of coaches and volunteers who delivered the Central Highlands program.

“Matt has worked hard on promoting RISE by reaching all players and their families to engage in the development opportunity, enjoy the experience playing the game they love and build connections with great volunteers and coaches within their community,” Quirke said.

“As a police officer within the community and well-respected person in rugby league, his passion and humbleness are a true testament to the character he displays as a coach, and the positive influence he has with any playing group and coaching staff that he encounters.”

This year, the RISE programs around the state will culminate in the QRL rebel State Development Series, for players aged 13 to 15.

RISE was not the only QRL program recognised at the event, while a number of rugby league volunteers and participants were also celebrated.

Central Highlands Regional Council 2023 Sport and Active Recreation Awards - rugby league winners and nominees

Outstanding Sports Development Initiative

Central Highlands RISE program

Committee Member Recognition Award

Shane Dixon, Central Highlands JRL president - winner

Cath Pethers, Emerald JRL president - nominated

Junior Sports Person of The Year Award

Samuel Chick - nominated

Volunteer Recognition Award

Celena Hudson, Emerald Brothers JRL treasurer - winner

Patrice Brown, Dysart Bulls - nominated

Event of the Year

Capras Clash junior carnival, Emerald - nominated

League of Legends community day, Emerald - nominated

Official of the Year

Tim Steinhardt - nominated

Lenard Taylor - nominated

Coach of the Year

Angela Renton, Dysart Bulls - nominated

Matthew Melvin, Blackwater Crushers junior coach - nominated

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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