Tegan Kelly is one of Rockhampton's rising referees who has ticked off a significant number of achievements with the whistle in 2023.
The 17-year-old, whose older brother Caleb is also a promising referee, has been developing her craft for a number of years and this year was rewarded with several opportunities around the state.
Tegan participated in the XXXX 47th Battalion carnival in Emerald in April then was invited to the Queensland Representative School Sport 14-15 years Schoolgirls Rugby League State Championship on the Gold Coast in May before going on to the Schoolboys 11-12 years State Championships in Gladstone in June and progressing to the nationals held in Townsville.
In between that she has been keeping busy in the local league in Rockhampton, ultimately gaining an appointment to referee the senior women's grand final.
Her brother Caleb also refereed the under 19 grand final the same day, and ran a touch line for the A grade men's decider.
Rockhampton is eager to welcome more people to become referees, from young people right through to former senior players looking to stay in touch with and give back to the game.
Woorabinda families fulfil footy appetite
Unable to host their own teams in 2023, Woorabinda community members and junior players went the distance to play in the Rockhampton competition this year.
About 50 players turned out for Emu Park this year, including a large proportion of girls filling most of the Emus' girls teams in under 14 and under 17, travelling to Rockhampton on Friday night for the weekend's games.
The under 17s made the grand final, and a number of the Woorabinda girls also played roles in the Emu Park women's team, who also made the grand final.
Most of them have Kylie Major-Oakley, who also helped coach the girls teams and women's side, to thank for doing the organising an arranging much of the transport for the Woorabinda crew, who showed excellent commitment through the season.
Jesse recognised for huge off-field efforts
Junior rugby league is about way more than just the footy and many who help clubs foster a great culture are being recognised at awards night.
Jesse Steed is one of them, picking up Junior Player of the Year for Agnes Water just as much for his off-field efforts as on on-field.
This year Jesse stood above all others with his great sportsmanship on and off the field.
He also volunteered his time to help out with the younger teams both at training and on game days, and also assisted at fundraising events for the club.