Kids get a kick out of meeting Cowboys players
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.