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Community corner: Grants pave the way for better rugby league experience

Several clubs across the state are enjoying the spoils as part of the most recent round of grants from the Queensland Government Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport's Minor Infrastructure Program.

In total, more than 10 clubs shared in close to $2 million in funding that will improve facilities for rugby league and other community sports.

QRL has had a hand in co-funding grants issued to three clubs - Stanley River, Brighton, Burleigh Juniors - while also assisting in Rockhampton Regional Council's plans to improve lighting at Kettle Park.

This will be beneficial for rugby league as it will support Central Queensland Capras with an extra field where they can train.

Elsewhere, we're approaching NAIDOC Week and I'm looking forward to seeing how our clubs get behind it both internally and with community activations.

Those with activities in the works can take inspiration from the recent efforts of the Sunshine Coast Falcons during National Reconciliation Week earlier this month among their statewide competitions fixtures against Mackay Cutters.

The Falcons hosted a game day function, which included Falcons player Zac Miles explaining the meaning of the Indigenous jersey he designed for his teammates.

Co-chair of the QRL Indigenous Advisory Committee, Eddie Monaei, also took time out to go to Sunshine Coast Stadium, where he addressed the group about the Voice to Parliament and the reasoning behind the proposal we will all vote on later this year.

I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of recognition and celebration pieces clubs will have across the game. 

QRL and NRL staff will attend the Townsville NAIDOC March on Friday, July 7 to show our support. 

Such is the timing, I won't be able to be there personally as I lend my support to the Queensland wheelchair rugby league team on the way to Sydney for their interstate challenge on July 8.

The team is holding an open training session at Tallebudgera Sports Centre (Gold Coast Recreation Precinct) on Saturday, June 24 from 10am-noon and I encourage everyone to get down there.

I went to their previous camp held in Townsville recently and let me tell you there is no hint of self-preservation from these unbelievable athletes. 

Also on my agenda is finalising and analysing our cost-of-game survey, reviewing the costs to our clubs, their revenue and their expenses and how this is being passed down to participants.

We're looking at ways to create efficiencies for our clubs and to make it cheaper and more accessible for individuals to participate in our sport.

It means we're keeping our game as accessible as possible it helps ensure everyone can live the dream of being involved in the game, and maybe even have the opportunity to rise through our pathways and to State of Origin.

Speaking of Origin, it was great to see the fan day for the Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons so well supported by the people of Townsville.

I popped in to The Strand on Saturday and you couldn't have a better location, which added to the drawcard that was our fantastic players who will be cheering loudly on Thursday night to help them bring home the series win.

Shout out

A shout out to QRL staff Jade Johnson and Tina Faulkner in Mackay and Kerri Ritchie in Townsville - the latter also receiving support from previous staff member Rob Hall - and NRL game development officers in the region Tyson Gregory, Shaun Kaufman and Bede Aquila for facilitating the training and games for All Abilities rugby league in north Queensland. Last week at Queensland Country Bank Stadium the players were made to feel like superstars as Townsville hosted Mackay, the return leg of a two-game series. Rugby league was the winner and these people make it happen.

Key dates

July 1: Coming of the Light, a significant day for Torres Strait Islander peoples commemorating the adoption of Christianity in their communities

July 2-11: NAIDOC Week

July 29: XXXX League Championship final, Brisbane Red v Cairns at Logan Metro Sports Complex

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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