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Everything you need to know: Adrian Vowles Cup 2024

All roads lead to Charleville this week as the 11th edition of the Adrian Vowles Cup prepares to spring into action.

It's not just the western Queensland town itself that benefits from the influx of nearly 60 teams, volunteers and supporters, it's an event businesses on the route for travellers - from as far as Mackay, Mount Isa and Brisbane - relish each year.

It was something Adrian Vowles himself only recently realised, having started the carnival just to make sure boys and girls in the bush had another avenue to play rugby league.

"I was talking to my cousin, who runs a Subway in Roma, and she said the benefits they got (from the carnival) last year was amazing and she rang and asked what date it's on, so they know what's coming, and that's just a Subway so imagine all the servos and all that," he said.

Adrian Vowles Cup continues to grow

"It's just an amazing feeling, from what we started with three teams and not thinking about that benefit - it was all about rugby league - but to be able to grow the carnival to so many teams where it does benefit so many business, not just in Charleville, but along the way, is pretty cool to reflect on, and that me, Zoro (Shaun Radnedge, Murweh mayor) and Pete Rafter (QRL Outback league and club coordinator) have grown it so it can benefit more than just footy."

Western Rugby League president Sandra Currie said the aspect of rugby league supporting bush towns was central to their junior league, which shared gala days among Charleville, Quilpie, Augathella and Cunnamulla during the year.

"It takes people to each town, they stay there, they spend money out there, it's a little boost to each town each weekend they have the round-robin comp," she said.

Currie, who lives in Charleville, said this year the Western Rugby League was excited to be offering an under 14 division, having previously only gone to under 12, making the introduction of under 14 girls to the Adrian Vowles Cup in 2024 even more significant.

"Because we don't have a lot of football out here... to then get the under 14 and teams from all over Queensland - Mackay and Mount Isa, Toowoomba and all that - it's a big step up for them and they really look forward to it," she said.

Currie will see it all unfold from the canteen at Charleville Showgrounds, where she has come across just about every person who has attended the Adrian Vowles Cup in its history.

Outback to Maroons and beyond: Adrian Vowles

"Just being involved in the canteen, it's just amazing. The kids, people and community get behind it. The town just overflows. It's great for the community," she said.

"It's really good to see a lot of the same people come back. They may be from Mount Isa and they would never see them if they didn't come out here.

"A lot of them camp around the Showgrounds, and a lot of the city kids, they wouldn't have done that before... and they all mix.

Western Rugby League president Sandra Currie mans the canteen during the Adrian Vowles Cup.
Western Rugby League president Sandra Currie mans the canteen during the Adrian Vowles Cup.

"There might be 20 teams camping at the Showgrounds and at night they're out on the football field. They've played football all day in the hot sun, but they're still out playing football at 9pm against one another.

"One might be from Mackay, the other might be from Cunnamulla, but by the end of the carnival, when they're all camping at the Showgrounds, they make new friends and it's great."

Vowles said from all reports there had been good rain out west in the lead-up, making for plenty of greenery and perfect ground conditions for footy.

Larrikin legends: Outback referee David Ross

A referees' course will be held prior to the carnival, which will also provide an opportunity for newly-minted officials to perfect their craft on the job.

A number of QRL staff will also be attending to support carnival operations, including wellbeing managers from QRL regions delivering education sessions at the carnival.

Everything you need to know

What: Adrian Vowles Cup

When: February 23-24

Where: Charleville

Venues: Charleville Showgrounds, Baker St Sportsground


Friday, February 23

Preliminary matches from 8am-7pm

Saturday, February 24

Preliminary matches from 8am-5pm

Finals (at Charleville Showgrounds)

Time Event
5.50pm U14 Girls GF
6.10pm U14 Boys GF
6.30pm U17 Girls GF
6.50pm U16 Boys GF
7.30pm Presentations

Competing teams

Under 14 Boys

Benderoo/Saints, Pittsworth, Wattles, Western Ringers, Brothers Toowoomba, Blackbutt-South Burnett, Carnarvon Cubs, Souths Toowoomba, Chinchilla, Highfields, City/Country Mt Isa, Toowoomba Valleys Black, Toowoomba Valleys Red, Collegians, Dalby, Wanderers Mt Isa, Emerald, Central West, Mitchell, Stanley River, Redcliffe

Under 14 Girls

Outback Wolves, City/Country Mt Isa, South Burnett

Under 16 Boys

Brothers Toowoomba, Mackay, Mitchell, Highfields, Wallumbilla-Surat Red Bulls, Fassifern, Redcliffe, Dalby, Central West, South Burnett, Collegians, Souths Toowoomba, City/Country, Stanley River, Roma Cities, Toowoomba Valleys, Chinchilla

Under 17 Girls

Dalby, Highfields/Stanley River, Outback Magpies, City/Country Mt Isa

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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