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Our RISE under 15s are continuing to be put through their paces with a view to their QRL rebel State Development Series carnival in late September.

More than 200 players have been taking part across our three centres Cairns, Mackay and Townsville with some fantastic buy-in from our statewide competitions affiliates Pride, Cutters and Blackhawks.

This is their first genuine step into an aspirational pathway and the opportunity for these kids to be afforded to be coached by the likes of Ty Williams in far north Queensland, Mackay Cutters head of football operations Kim Williams and an array of local community coaches and staff.

Over the next two months, these kids will rip in into all facets of being involved in being an elite athlete, which encompasses physical strength, skill literacy and most importantly, our wellbeing.

Kim Williams presenting at a RISE session in Mackay.
Kim Williams presenting at a RISE session in Mackay.

A big concept of the RISE program is that we're continually looking to and encouraging our kids to also train their brain and their mind as well and keeping that as happy and healthy as can be.

Speaking of emerging players, congratulations to FNQ (pictured below) for winning the recent under 17 girls regional titles in Townsville.

The was some great footy on display from the home side, Mackay and a NQ United team featuring girls from Thursday Island and the Northern Peninsula Area.

The future of the female game is in great stead when we see these young women take the field and give it everything they've got representing their region.

There was plenty of pride in the efforts of our Cairns A grade representative team, who travelled to Brisbane last weekend to play for the XXXX League Championship title.

Commiserations to Davin Crampton (pictured above) and his boys – the best of the FNQRL A grade competition – who can hold their heads high despite a 44-28 defeat.

The performance of 18-year-old prop Jason Hallie, who came off the bench and made an immediate impact and scored a try, showed he has a massive future ahead of him.

At the same time, in the north-west, it was grand final season for the Mt Isa competitions and our Gulf Cluster.

In the women’s grand final, Wranglers coming out on top over Blackstars, 34-0. The scoreboard does not reflect the tough game that was played, with the pace of player of the final Lucy Lloyd-Morgan being the difference.

Mt Isa won the Mt Isa Men's A grade title
Mt Isa won the Mt Isa Men's A grade title

In the men’s A grade grand final, Wanderers captain Haupeke Brown was the hero in a 22-14 win over Townies. It was 16-14 with five minutes left so it went right to the wire.

Normanton was the host of the Gulf event, featuring a massive nine hours of games from juniors playing their first game through to seniors from the host club, Doomadgee and Mornington Island.

2023 Gulf Men's champions Normanton
2023 Gulf Men's champions Normanton

Normanton and Doomadgee played off for the men’s and women’s titles. Doomadgee won the women’s decider 8-4 in extra time, while Normanton won the men’s competition 30-10.

The game of course could not happen without officials, so a big thank you to Kurt Sheather who travelled from Mackay to Normanton to officiate the men’s finals.

Kurt did a great job of officiating, gaining respect from both teams and all players, meaning the game was played in great spirit and was enjoyed by all.

Gulf women's champions Doomadgee
Gulf women's champions Doomadgee

As we get to the pointy end of the season, with other areas still to begin finals, I can’t stress the importance of adhering to the code of conduct for all involved in our game.

We pride our game on being a game for all - family, fun, safe and positive one.

The message is clear – keep your emotions in check and like our Positive Environment Program mantra says “if it’s not positive, it’s pointless”.

I encourage and thank all clubs to continue to utilise all our resources available on the PEP portal, so we can continue to spread the messages of expectations within your clubs.

Shout out

A shout out to all of our community coaching staff who were involved in the RISE under 15s. There’s at least 40 of them, so far too many to name here, but you know who you are. Most of them have already gone through the 13s and 14s program this year but have again backed up in being a part of it, not only as a development opportunity for themselves but to ensure that they're developing our youth in their areas.

Celebrating our team

Rachael Morgan

Role: League and club coordinator, FNQ

Hometown: Mareeba

Favourite Maroons player: Alfie Langer and JT

Favourite Maroons Origin moment: Being at the 2023 game in Brisbane to watch Queensland to take out the series.

Why you love your job:  I love my job because I have the opportunity to work in the game I watched my children grow up in. I love the feeling of knowing that I can help make a small difference to the overall experience of the game. I love that community rugby league is the heart and soul of the game and that each week the players show up because they feel the same.

What Rachael brings to the team: Rachael to is breath of fresh air to the QRL North team. Her passion for the game and helping others is so evident and we are extremely lucky to have her in the organisation. Rachael is another long-time volunteer to our game who now has the opportunity to assist many others in all of FNQ through her experience as a former administrator and in coaching staff roles.

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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