Gla­di­a­tors come out on top

Strength a re­flec­tion of com­mu­nity

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT - Felicity Ripper Felicity.Ripper@cnbtimes.com.au

RUGBY LEAGUE: Gayn­dah Gla­di­a­tor Stu­art Kirk be­lieves the strength of the team re­flects the strength of the Gayn­dah com­mu­nity.

Com­mended by North Bur­nett coun­cil­lor John Zahl for lift­ing the spir­its of lo­cals, the Gla­di­a­tors

❝ Hope­fully this year, with the change to an 11-a-side team which brings Monto back in the comp, we can keep our mo­men­tum. — Gavin Ber­rie

re­ceived the Se­nior Sports Award at Gayn­dah’s Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions at the week­end.

Af­ter a 34-year ti­tle drought, the Gayn­dah Gla­di­a­tors be­came back-to-back pre­miers last sea­son.

“Pre­vi­ous to this, the team last won a pre­mier­ship in the mid-1980s and for those of us who fol­low rugby league that is a very long time ago,” Cr Zahl said.

“To win suc­ces­sive pre­mier­ships in the com­pe­ti­tion af­ter such a long pe­riod of time is a sub­stan­tial achieve­ment.

“Apart from be­ing a great com­mu­nity event, this win has lifted the spir­its of lo­cal sup­port­ers and given younger play­ers the con­fi­dence to push on.”

Kirk said it took a collaborat­ive com­mu­nity ef­fort to get the wins.

“But Rob, Spook and Gav are the back­bone,” he said.

“We’ve won two years in a row and we’re go­ing to make it three.”

The wins didn’t come with­out over­com­ing adversity first.

“We got off to a pretty rough start of the 2018 sea­son and with the back­ing of our town, and great spon­sors, we’ve come through and done it again,” Gayn­dah Gla­di­a­tors pres­i­dent Gavin Ber­rie said.

“Hope­fully this year, with the change to an 11-a-side team which brings Monto back in the comp, we can keep our mo­men­tum and have another re­ally good year.”

PHOTO: FELICITY RIPPER

ON THE BALL: Gayn­dah Gla­di­a­tors football team with the Se­nior Sports Award at Gayn­dah's 2019 Aus­tralia Day cel­e­bra­tions.

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