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Community corner: South East braces for female competitions boom

Female senior and junior rugby league will be in full swing in the coming weeks in the South East with more players than ever joining in on our game.

Across the region we’re up 22 per cent for female registrations compared to this time last year and we’ve already passed the total number of registrations for the entirety of 2022.

The enthusiasm is clear too after a successful South East Female Central Venue Day held at Beenleigh’s Bill Norris Oval complex prior to Easter.

The event, held across four fields on the day and involving more than 20 clubs, was the ideal preseason hitout for teams from Under 14, Under 16 right through to Open Women.

The numbers generally are much higher than what they were at this time of last year, which is a promising sign as we continue to perfect the structure of female community rugby league.

With Harvey Norman Under 19s having wrapped up, many clubs will welcome players back to the grassroots and competitions will be bolstered even further when the BMD Premiership wraps up later this month.

There’s a lot of interest from these players who have played a high level to come back again, so I think we’re looking at some really fantastic quality of competition for our A grade season, which will only filter through across our leagues.

The southern Brisbane and northern Gold Coast area is particularly bursting with players, which is why we’ve seen the likes of Nerang and Beenleigh put their hand up to participate at the top Holcim Cup level, and Rochedale entering a junior girls team for the first time.

Valleys however is giving us a glimpse of what we hope to see more clubs establish in the future, being the first to bring together enough players to field a team in the second tier as well as Holcim Cup, providing pathway opportunities to that level.

It will take some time for every club to get there, but it’s an exciting achievement for Valleys and their BMD Premiership affiliation with Norths.

Equally we’re making sure all our first-time participants are able to play the game safely. At our Central Venue Day, new juniors were put through a modified Tackle Ready program to prepare them for contact and teaching correct tackle technique.

Waterford Demons concurrently hosted an eight-team Under 12 girls gala day, where teams also participated in Tackle Ready.

The programs were well received and we’ll be looking at more ways we can make Tackle Ready more accessible going forward.

Otherwise it was fantastic to see so many supporters at our Central Venue Day and hopefully they can put their hands up as volunteers to help keep female rugby league strong.

Shout out

Waterford Demons president Mick and wife Marleis Sparey did a fantastic job to make sure the Under 12 girls gala day ran on April 1 perfectly after putting up their hand to organise and put the event on for the girls.

Key dates

April 15 – Holcim Cup and senior community female competitions start, Gold Coast Men’s A grade begins

April 22 – Junior girls rugby league opening fixtures

April 28-30 – XXXX Chairman’s Challenge, North Ipswich Reserve

Celebrating our team

Junior Keki

Role: League and club coordinator, Brisbane

Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand

Favourite Maroons player: Jonathan Thurston             

Favourite Maroons moment: I think 2007, Game I at Suncorp Stadium, my first Origin, when Darren Lockyer scored after collecting a wild pass from Jarryd Hayne as he tried to avoid going out.  A lot of plastic cups were thrown up in the air in celebration.

Why you love working for QRL: The people. Especially my QRL South East team.

What Junior brings to the team: Junior coordinates the Open Men's and BRL competitions in Brisbane. This is a hugely important competition in Queensland Rugby League and Junior works incredibly hard to ensure the best possible competitions for our players. He is a crucial part of our team and always helps to put a smile on the face of his team members. Junior's cool and calm demeanour helps him to effectively deal with issues and ensures that his competitions are always running to the best of their ability. With more than a season under his belt, Junior is really growing into his role with the QRL.

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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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