18 February 2011

QRL says our flood-affected kids can play free

HUNDREDS of Ipswich children will be able to play rugby league for free this season.

Goodna junior rugby league team members Malik
and Treavon Drahm getting ready for the new season.

HUNDREDS of Ipswich children will be able to play rugby league for free this season.

The Queensland Rugby League and the NRL announced yesterday that they will waive the fees for the 2011 rugby league season for kids who were directly affected when the Bremer River broke its banks on January 12.

The move will likely mean kids from 12 of the junior clubs in the Ipswich region will play for free this season.

Brendan Bowers, president of the Ipswich Junior Rugby League, said he was ecstatic at the QRL's decision.

"This is a great move by the QRL and will really help rugby league get back on its feet this season," he said.

"Most of the clubs will have juniors that can apply.

"Obviously the worst hit were Goodna, Karalee and Norths, but also Laidley and other clubs had many kids affected."

"The QRL and the NRL have been great to Ipswich since the flood happened.

"The clubs and officials have been amazing in doing everything they can for us."

The waiving of the fees will only apply to juniors who played rugby league last year.

They must also have been directly affected by floodwater to receive the discount.

Several members of the Karalee Tornadoes Junior Rugby League Club were treated to the spectacle of a major media event when they were on hand to announce the funding initiative with State of Origin legend Mal Meninga and NRL chief executive David Gallop yesterday.

The Tornadoes were devastated by the floods, with 20 of the club's 56 families losing their homes.

"As everyone knows, this is a long-term project and while it is difficult to talk of the devastation of football clubs at a time when people have lost everything, the fact is that rugby league is a part of communities across Queensland," Mr Gallop said.


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