Kids get a kick out of meet­ing Cow­boys play­ers

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

IT WAS an over­whelm­ing scene at the Whit­sun­day Sportspark on Tues­day as a cou­ple of North Queens­land Cow­boys stars rode into town.

There was even a spe­cial guest visit by Queens­land Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk but it was Cow­boy le­gends Matt Bowen and Brent Tate, along with cur­rent cen­tre Justin O’Neill, who drew the crowd.

More than 1000 peo­ple turned out to get au­to­graphs, pic­tures and kick a ball around with some rugby league le­gends, here to boost morale in the Whit­sun­day com­mu­ni­ties dec­i­mated by Se­vere Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie.

The play­ers’ tour of the Whit­sun­days on Tues­day in­cluded visits to Bowen, Proser­pine and Air­lie Beach and there were smiles on faces wher­ever they went.

Tate said be­ing a par­ent made him ap­pre­ci­ate the value of a child’s smile.

“It means a lot to th­ese peo­ple. They’ve been go­ing pretty hard the last few days. Peo­ple are do­ing it tough.

“When you’ve got kids of your own and you see kids get a buzz, it makes you feel good as well. That’s the best thing about it,” the former cen­tre said.

Bowen said it was all about the kids.

“It’s just good to come down here and see peo­ple like this and put a smile on their faces.

“For a lot of th­ese peo­ple Cow­boys are their team. To come here and show our sup­port and show we’re think­ing about them and to see the kids is the most im­por­tant thing.”

Cow­boys cen­tre O’Neill is cur­rently side­lined due to in­jury but said the whole ex­pe­ri­ence had been an eye-opener.

“I think it’s amaz­ing to see how pos­i­tive peo­ple can still be af­ter what they’ve been through and how much they’ve lost,” he said.


STARSTRUCK: Cow­boys cen­tre Justin O'Neill with Harper Hen­der­son-Feld­man (left), Mia Clark and Jaxon Hen­der­son-Feld­man on Tues­day.

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