WATCH: What the Capras new $300,000 sponsorship means
RUGBY LEAGUE: Nurturing the region's young rugby league talent is at the heart of a three-year, $300,000 deal struck between the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras and mining giant Yancoal.
The investment will be used to establish regional coaching academies, and provide pathways from the grass roots through to the Intrust Super Cup and the NRL.
Revealing the exciting development yesterday, Capras CEO Peter White hailed it as the "most exciting new sponsorship announcement our club has made in decades”.
He said the investment would put the Capras on a solid footing, on and off the field.
"To have a multinational company such as Yancoal on board gives us that financial stability and sets us in a positive direction,” he said.
"It means we can run our business, we can get on the front foot as opposed to being reactive to situations.
"Their charter is the same as ours; it's all about growing the game, it's all about offering the kids the pathways, the programs, the support they need right through our community.
"We cover a massive area, over half a million square kilometres, and this will enable us to service it.”
White acknowledged the work done behind the scenes by Brad Neven, Yancoal group manager health and safety, and Capras board member Grantley Jack who were instrumental in putting the deal together.
There would have been a touch of sentiment in the announcement for Neven, who played for and captained the Capras in the '90s.
"This investment will establish regional coaching academies and development of our youth across Central Queensland,” he said.
"As a local, a Capras old boys and former captain of the Capras I've experienced first-hand how rugby league can bond players and communities and we want to ensure that our youth get that opportunity to connect with the community and have a pathway through to the Queensland Cup and the NRL.”
Neven said CQ was an important region for Yancoal, with its Yarrabee and Cameby Downs operations employing a host of locals, many of them avid Capras supporters.
"From our perspective, it's important as a major employer in the region that we put money back into the region where our employees live and operate and work.
"Our mantra is we want to re-invest back into the community and youth is the best way to do that.”
Yancoal will feature on the front of the Capras under-18 and under-20 jerseys, as well as the 13, 14 and 16 boys and 14 and 16 girls.