Historic day for Woorabinda's young league talent
RUGBY LEAGUE: 2017 was a monumental year for Woorabinda rugby league, with its A-grade team returning to the Rockhampton competition after a 14-year absence.
This year it's the town's juniors who will step into the spotlight, lining up in the Rockhampton junior competition for the first time. Woorabinda will field teams in the under-14 and under-16 age groups, and they will kick off their 2018 campaigns with games at Victoria Park today.
The majority of the players had a taste of competition last year when they played with Emu Park but they will no doubt be bursting with pride when they take to the field representing their hometown.
Woorabinda Senior Rugby League secretary Lesley Bligh said it was a whole-of-community approach that had made the junior dream a reality.
She said the two teenage outfits would bridge the gap between existing competitions for the town's aspiring young talent.
Woorabinda does play in the Callide-Dawson competition which has age groups from under-6 through to under-12 and also has A-grade, reserve grade and under-20 teams in the Rocky competition.
"That meant players aged from 13 through to about 18 were left in limbo because there was no football for them,” she said.
"Being accepted into the Rockhampton junior competition is a real positive for us and it's really important for our kids and for our town.”
Bligh said the teams' involvement was about more than just playing rugby league.
"It's about teaching the kids discipline and responsibility, and having some pride in themselves.
"It's about getting them into rugby league and at the same time keeping them out of trouble.
"They're all dead keen. They've been at me for a while, asking when they were going to start playing.
"They're definitely ready to go.”
QRL Central Division - Rockhampton operations manager Amanda Ohl said the QRL was supportive of the initiatives that the Woorabinda community, in conjunction with the police, were putting in place to engage the town's youth.
"This is an opportunity for these kids to not only play football but also improve their lives,” she said.
"Like the Woorabinda Warriors, the boys will add some flair to the Rocky junior competition and hopefully in a few years we can unearth the next NRL star.”
ROUND 1 OF RDJRL TODAY
- Webb Oval, Yeppoon: 4.30pm, U13 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths; 5.30pm, U14 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths; 6.30pm U15 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths; 7.30pm U16 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths; 8.30pm U18 Cap Coast Brothers v Norths
- Colts Oval, North Rockhampton: 4.30pm, U13 Rockhampton Tigers v Yeppoon; 5.30pm, U14 Rockhampton Tigers v Yeppoon; 6.30pm, U15 Rockhampton Tigers v Yeppoon; 7.30pm, U18 Emu Park v Yeppoon
- Victoria Park, South Rockhampton: 4.30pm, U13 Brothers Blue v Gracemere; 5.30pm, U14 Brothers Blue v Woorabinda; 6.30pm, U15 Brothers Blue v Gracemere; 7.30pm, U16 Brothers Blue v Woorabinda; 8.30pm, U18 Brothers Blue v Norths 2
- Browne Park, South Rockhampton: 4.30pm, U13 Brothers White v Fitzroy Sharks