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Mount Isa's wonderful sight as Brothers break down barriers to footy

One of the most wonderful sights seen on a Mount Isa sporting field in years took place on March 9 with the kickoff of the junior footy season.

Player registrations are up more than 40 per cent across the under 6 to under 12 age groups, from 181 to 259 players.

But most pleasing was the growth in the under 6 and under 7 age groups, with seven teams across four clubs kicking things off at Alec Inch Oval.

Mt Isa Brothers junior coach and mum Taylah Andreassen said it was fantastic to see.

“I have been involved in other sports in Mount Isa… before I came over to help with Brothers and I’ve got to say that’s the best turnout I’ve seen for sport in Mount Isa since Covid," he said.

“It’s been insane. It was an especially good turnout for the juniors and I think there were seven under 6 teams from four clubs.

“I’ve got 16 in one of my teams, so I’m probably looking at splitting them into two. So we’ve got heaps of players."

Under 7s in Mt Isa being put through their paces to start their Tackle Ready program on March 9.
Under 7s in Mt Isa being put through their paces to start their Tackle Ready program on March 9.

Brothers has made particular effort to include people from all walks of life and far afield, using a sponsorship with Rainbow Gateway to cover all costs of bringing in players from Camooweal, a two-hour drive west of Mount Isa.

“We’ve got a bus that comes from Camooweal, we’ve got a bus driver out there and he’s coaching (the kids) as well," Andreassen said.

"Anton’s been amazing and taking on all the mixed age groups, from under 6s to under 11s, and he trains them every Tuesday and Thursday like we do in town and his family brings them in on the weekends and takes them home.

There are 12 players involved so far - the interest garnered with the help of Andreassen's grandmother and local Kalkadoon elder Minnie Kenna.

“She went out with another elder from the area and went to the school a few weeks ago and discussed it with the families and did a bit of a training session with them, which really gathered the attention of them all," Andreassen said.

“It’s such a good community, back they haven’t been involved in sport for such a long time.

“One of the parents gave us amazing feedback, it actually gave me goosebumps. She said that in the eight years she’d been living in Camooweal, not once had they been offered to come to Mt Isa for sport.

"They always said 'they felt like they didn’t want us', which is so far from true."

Andreassen said it was part of the drive to use rugby league to look after the health of the community.

"We have a lot of turnover for Fair Play vouchers, probably more than the other clubs, and we welcome all the mob," she said.

“We train down at Sunset Oval where a lot of our people are from and we bring out some tucker every few weeks and help feed the community as well.

“It definitely entices the kids to come down and have a bit of a run-around, be healthy and actually get involved in sport."

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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