Tony Lucas of QR National, CQ NRL Bid chairman Geoff Murphy and CEO Denis Keeffe announce setting up QR National Schools Program.
Tony Lucas of QR National, CQ NRL Bid chairman Geoff Murphy and CEO Denis Keeffe announce setting up QR National Schools Program. Sharyn Oneill

Bid gets stronger

THE momentum of the CQ NRL Bid continues with yesterday's announcement by Bid chairman Geoff Murphy of a further initiative.

Murphy faced the media alongside the Bid's chief executive Denis Keeffe and QR National manager for stakeholder relations in Queensland Tony Lucas at the JM Kelly boardroom yesterday.

The chairman expressed delight in bringing the QR National Schools Program and Education Foundation to Central Queensland thanks to the sponsorship of QR National.

“I have no doubt that the QR National Schools Program and Education Program will be a resounding success and provide great opportunities for young Central Queenslanders to follow their dreams,” Murphy said.

The move places the CQ NRL bid above rivals seeking a place in an expanded NRL as such initiatives are usually in place through established clubs.

The QR National Education Program will offer scholarships to students aged 12-15 years who are in disadvantaged circumstances, whether financial or by distance, who have shown potential and commitment to pursue excellence in sport and study.

Each year scholarships will be awarded to five disadvantaged Central Queensland students.

Murphy explained the QR National Schools program will be delivered, by CQ NRL Bid, to 120 primary schools in the CQ area, which stretches from Bundaberg up to Mackay and out to the west.

This program will take the message of healthy and positive lifestyle to the students and incorporate rugby league coaching clinics while promoting healthy and positive choices both in and out of school.

Murphy also has an eye toward the future with some students expected to become a part of the club, in an under-20s team, once it is accepted into the NRL.

The Bid team again pledged that any Central Queensland team in the NRL would contain about 70% of its players from the CQ area.

“QR National plays an important part as the Bid keeps getting better and better all the time,” Murphy said.

Currently the number of signatures of support has reached 28,000 while more than $2 million has been raised through corporate partners.

Murphy said political concerns about the funding of a new stadium are unfounded as the current State Government has again pledged financial support.

The CQ NRL Bid team will also meet with Campbell Newman and put forward their case should he become Premier and Murphy said he was confident he would receive a commitment from him.

“I believe this is a significant step towards bringing a National Rugby League to Central Queensland,” Lucas said.



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