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Young Person of the Year: Doug Brown and Trinity Maclean

Two young people have been recognised for making a positive impact on rugby league in their communities with the 2023 Young Person of the Year award.

Trinity Maclean coaches under 7s at Brothers Ipswich and officiates for the Ipswich Referees' Association, while Doug Brown was chosen for his involvement coaching and volunteering at Dysart Bulls.

Maclean said she was "feeling great" about the award.

"I almost jumped out of my car seat. I didn't think I would get it at all," Maclean said.

Maclean was almost lost to rugby league after an injury scare nearly stopped her playing the game, but took up the whistle just to fuel her love for the game.

Having reached under 15 level and officiate an under 12 state title, this year she added junior coach to the resume, taking on the under 7s at Brothers Ipswich.

Trinity, top left, with the Under 7 Brothers Ipswich team.
Trinity, top left, with the Under 7 Brothers Ipswich team.

Maclean said both roles had different benefits.

"I'm such a people person and I always wanted to do something with kids, so I got into coaching and I love it, just seeing the smiles on their faces," she said.

"At training we try to make it as fun as possible.

"As a referee I just love being out there and having control of the game. It's good to be out there in the mix."

Doug Brown, an 18-year-old front rower for Dysart Bulls, said he was grateful for been recognised for his efforts helping younger players enjoy the game as much as he had.

While completing Year 12 last year, Brown was an under 13 coach, helped set up at every home game and met deliveries, packed and unpacked the canteen during 'spare' classes at school.

"I did it because I've seen my mother do it for so many years and she has taught us to give back to the community, even though at times it was hectic because I was completing Year 12," he said.

Brown said he didn't realise the impression he was having until he lined up to play in a grand final last year.

"At grand final time I realised that it meant something to the younger players at the club. I had juniors sending in videos saying I was their favourite Bull because I was a coach and gave them time," he said.

"Football has been my whole life really. I've been playing it since I was six. I've always loved helping out even as a young fella, going there early, watching every game, coaching, doing LeagueSafe."

"It's good to help around. People love it, you get to be there every day, help out the kids - it's really good."

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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