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Outback champion Wendy inspires new generation of volunteers

We are fortunate in Outback rugby league to have some amazing people involved, but one in particular is Wendy Clark.

Calrk has been involved in rugby league for a long time, having coached juniors at Mitchell, organised and coached the Maranoa Magic women’s team and more recently has been coaching girls Queensland and Southern Outback teams.

Only last year she coached the Under 17 Queensland Outback team at the Rees Orman City Country Cultural Exchange in Coolum.

All the while Clark has had a major influence on many young girls in the Outback and you could not ask for a better mentor, friend, and someone for the young girls to look up to.

While in Coolum, she had a conversation with Tori Castle, one the under 17 players in her last year of junior footy.

Castle wanted to stay involved in the game and between the two of them, they set a plan up for her to complete some courses and to help Clark in 2024, with qualifications in coaching, refereeing and League Safe among those now at her disposal.

Many of these skills were put into practice at the Adrian Vowles Cup last month - Castle the under 17 Outback assistant coach - along with great friend Tahlia Stewart, who recently completed a League Safe course so she could be involved - all this while now in the process of completing schooling at Charleville High School and having obtained apprenticeships.

This is their way of staying in the game having now completed their junior footy - their closest senior opportunities now more than 500km away in Emerald or Toowoomba.

When asked why they help out, Castle said: “I love footy, it makes an impact on so many peoples' lives. I’d like to be the reason why someone continues to play”.

Stewart praised Clark for her encouragement to have the opportunity to contribute to an "absolutely amazing game".

"I love Wendy, she is like a second mum," she said.

"I don’t know if I’d come back and do this without Wendy. Footy has been a big part of our lives over the last couple of years. We have been mates for a while and this gives us the opportunity to do more things together.”

With Tori Castle and Tahlia Stewart involved, thanks to the inspiring example of Wendy Clark, the future of rugby league in the Outback is in safe hands as we look to provide more opportunities to people to have a role in our great game.

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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