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Community corner: Proof XXXX Foley Shield alive and well

The XXXX Foley Shield has been run and won with teams on every side going up another level even compared to the same time last year.

But the most pleasing aspect to me was the fantastic crowd we had in Cairns, with about 5000 spectators across the weekend showing us the appetite for the historic competition remains strong.

It was the first time in 14 years we’ve held it in Far North Queensland and it was a great decision by the QRL North council last year to vote to allow it to be held on a rotation basis through the North.

It paid dividends with the buy-in from the rugby league community and it was the first time in 15 years Cairns had won.

A strong crowd turned out for the Foley Shield in Cairns. Photo: Dom Chaplin/QRL
A strong crowd turned out for the Foley Shield in Cairns. Photo: Dom Chaplin/QRL

The standard across every game, especially our women, continues to grow and learning Townsville will host a women’s State of Origin match this year will only enhance the interest in our representative pathway opportunities.

A big congratulations to those players selected in our men’s and women’s teams of the series, which was another wonderful element added to acknowledge our top performers.

Full credit to all those people behind the scenes who put in a lot of effort to make sure all the teams and fans were accommodated and able to enjoy the weekend.

We also learnt a lot operationally and logistically that will guide our preparation for next year’s XXXX Foley Shield carnival in Mackay.

The XXXX Foley Shield is well and truly alive.

This year’s carnival was the injection FNQ needed and no doubt they will be supporting their boys in the XXXX League Championship final, where they will play either Toowoomba or Brisbane, on the weekend of July 29-30.

In other news we ran a successful RISE camp on Thursday Island the previous weekend headed up by former NRL coach and Queensland Maroons assistant Neil Henry, which saw 100 girls and boys participate.

One of the most pleasing parts of that was the 14 coaches from the island from the Torres Strait utilising it as a development opportunity.

Everyone had a great time despite wet weather intervening but knowing the appetite for playing rain or shine, it did not stop the kids having a ball.

It wasn’t just about rugby league, as they completed elements of the Life Fit program all received referee accreditation along with some strength and conditioning tips from RISE national program coordinator Caitlin Knox.

The beauty of this is the participants will go back to the islands and communities not only knowing what it takes to progress on the rugby league pathway should they choose, but sharing skills that will help them in their daily lives.

Our RISE programs, involving around 500 players, have now kicked off in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay with more sessions looming later this month, culminating in a carnival on July 4-5.

Shout out

A shout out to interim FNQRL chairman Chey Bird for partnering with the QRL to facilitate a great XXXX Foley Shield weekend in Cairns. Chey understands the history of the competition and he’s as keen as we are to make sure the XXXX Foley Shield is successful well into the future.

Key dates

May 6-7 - Junior Outback Muster in Charleville featuring players from Mt Isa

May 20 - Gulf competition kicking off

May 21 - RISE Session 2 in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay 

May 28 - RISE Session 3 in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay

Celebrating our team

Tamyka Harris

Role: QRL North administrative assistant

Hometown: Mackay, Queensland

Favourite Maroons player: Wally Lewis

Why you love your job: Honestly, It’s the people, from my fellow team members, board members, the volunteers within community rugby league and the kids! Seeing the difference we make at grass roots level rugby league is truly the most inspiring and rewarding. The best part of the QRL North region is our diversity, from Sarina to Mt Isa to Thursday Island and everywhere in between. We are so lucky to work the people and the communities, make lifelong friends and learn invaluable lessons along the way. To work in a sport we love is truly special.

What Tamyka brings to the team: 'T' is the glue that keeps this region and our team together. Her passion for our great game is second to none and we are so lucky up here in north Queensland be a first line of support for all our staff and stakeholders in our game. She is continually looking to make our great region evolve.

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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