THREE FOR SEVENS:  Trevor Robertson, Barry ORourke and Gavin Schuker.
THREE FOR SEVENS: Trevor Robertson, Barry ORourke and Gavin Schuker. Allan Reinikka ROK210918arugby1

CQ Sevens competition to support farmers in drought

RUGBY UNION: A Rugby Sevens competition is coming to Rockhampton, with up to 10 local men's and women's teams expected to compete.

After seeing the success of the competition in Roma earlier this year, Brothers decided to pursue a Rockhampton version, with local organisations more than happy to jump on board.

Brothers president Trevor Robertson said the idea to bring it to Rocky had been in the pipeline for some time, with the club "chipping away at it”.

"They're good events and bring people into town,” he said.

"We're really keen to bring it into Rockhampton and make it a really good event for people to enjoy.

"I think there will be a lot of local bush teams but we know it attracts interest from all over - we've got inquiries from some Brisbane teams.

"We've hopefully got a couple of celebrity union players in teams of their own or filling numbers in other teams.”

Robertson said the event is a great opportunity to showcase untapped potential and talented players from the region.

"Every year we see kids leave with NRL scholarships, playing touch at an Australian level. We've already had a couple of girls go from Rocky and represent the state on a national level,” he said.

"The level of talent here is huge and that's part of the driver here too. We want to give them a chance to shine and bring those other teams here as well so we're not only playing in their backyard.”

Robertson said there's potential for the competition to incorporate other sports such as league, AFL and touch football.

"Sevens is set so that if players have any footy background at all, they'll be well suited to the dynamic. They're multi-skilled players,” he said.

"It gives players opportunities to enjoy themselves and the experience. That's what it's all about.”

The competition will be giving back to farmers in drought, with funds raised going towards Drought Angels.

"[Doing that] was important to us, rugby is one side of it,” Robertson said.

"We wanted to do something for the community. I'm a country boy from Cloncurry, I know the impact the drought has on rural areas.

"There's an opportunity for us to help in whatever small way. Farmers need all the support we can give.

"If we can do our little bit that'd be great.”

Rocky Sports Club owner Gavin Shuker said when Brothers approached him about hosting the event, he jumped at the opportunity to support the local sporting community.

"We're hoping for a good turnout,” he said.

"We're a community sports club so it's very important to help out any kind of sport, organisation, event and association.

"We want to make it an annual event, for it to continue to grow [and] make it a destination event for Rocky.

"I think Sevens is an entertaining sport to watch. We're expecting crowds to come out and we're having an after party as well with a DJ and Yaamba Beer sponsoring the day.”

Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke said any opportunity to bring other clubs to Rockhampton would be great for the town's economy, with him providing funds to the event.

"It's important to get people out and about and involved in sport. It's great for everyone and rugby as well, which is one of my favourite sports,” he said.

"I really enjoy sports in Rockhampton and any tournament I can get happening here is really important for our community.”

CQ Sevens will be held at Victoria Park on October 27.

Women's, men's and under-18s teams will be playing. Prize money is up for grabs.



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