A spe­cial ‘nod’ for our lo­cal jnr league

Whitsunday Times - - SPORT - By Dane Lilling­stone

THE Proser­pine com­mu­nity was out in force over the week­end to cel­e­brate 50 years of ju­nior rugby league.

Satur­day’s fam­ily day was the per­fect time for fam­i­lies, for­mer play­ers and coaches, and the wider pub­lic to rec­ol­lect and catch up, dis­cussing all the glory of Proser­pine ju­nior rugby league.

Or­gan­is­ers were proud of the event with many of them de­scrib­ing the turnout as “amaz­ing”.

The main event was the of­fi­cial open­ing of the new club­house and mem­o­ra­bilia room.

In a spec­tac­u­lar dis­play for a small re­gional club, the room fea­tures a signed 2015 Queens­land Ma­roon jersey, a signed 2013 World Cup jersey and one of for­mer Ori­gin star Paul Bow­man’s orig­i­nal ju­nior jer­seys.

Bow­man’s 1987 un­der-11s jersey in par­tic­u­lar is a spe­cial piece of his­tory.

Do­nated by his fa­ther Bill, the jersey has black marker writ­ing on it that says “State of Ori­gin 1988” and the num­ber seven on it, writ­ten by a young Bow­man.

Although he wouldn’t wear the num­ber seven, or make his de­but as a 12-yearold, he did in fact make the Ori­gin team 13 years later.

Ju­nior club pres­i­dent Kevin Young said this was an ex­am­ple of the great­ness of the club.

“We’ve had some un­be­liev­able play­ers come from this club,” he said.

Mr Young said the new club­house only fur­ther ce­mented their place in the com­mu­nity.

“In go­ing from a trac­tor shed six weeks ago, to this, it’s just mas­sive,” he said.

“I’m so proud to be part of it, I re­ally am.”

Young said the suc­cess of the club was a tes­ta­ment to the great sup­port of the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

The Proser­pine club in­cludes al­most 250 ju­niors across un­der-6s to un­der-16s and is one of the big­gest clubs in the Mackay com­pe­ti­tion.

The new mem­o­ra­bilia room fea­tures sec­tions based on each decade and a num­ber of jer­seys, news­pa­per ar­ti­cles, pic­tures and tro­phies won through­out the years.

As for the fu­ture, Mr Young said the club would con­tinue to up­grade its fa­cil­i­ties and next look at get­ting proper lights in­stalled for the fields.

CEL­E­BRA­TION: Found­ing PWJRL com­mit­tee mem­bers Barry Barrett, War­ren Barry, Ron Read and cur­rent pres­i­dent Kevin Young.

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