Stanthorpe secures major, televised rugby league match
RUGBY LEAGUE: THE Stanthorpe rugby league community is celebrating this week, after it was announced the town would host a live, televised Intrust Super Cup match later this year.
The Sunshine Coast Falcons will play the Burleigh Bears at Sullivan Oval on August 16, with the Stanthorpe Gremlins and Gremlinettes playing matches as curtain raisers to the main game.
The game will be televised live on the Nine, NBN and WIN networks with a potential television audience of 140,000.
After two years of planning and preparations, the game was announced by Stanthorpe Sports Association and Junior Gremlins representative Col Britton at the Chamber of Commerce meeting on Friday morning.
"The rugby league community in Stanthorpe is really excited about what's happening," Britton said.
"The benefits to the community will be of a substantial nature.
"From a rugby league perspective, we want these games here to raise the profile and participation level of the game."
Britton said rugby league was one of the oldest sports in Stanthorpe and the event would be a great celebration of the game, including a chance to catch up with old friends and players.
"On Saturday night there'll be a dinner and reunion with about 300 to 400 people attending," he said.
"Sunday's matches will be a double-header with the BRL, with the televised game kicking off at 1.30pm.
"We're expecting a crowd of between 3000-4000 people."
Britton said the main reason for hosting the event was to raise more money for both junior and senior rugby league.
"The fields and facility is now rated one of the best outside of Brisbane and we should be very proud of what we've got," he said.
"If we raise more money we can apply for more grants to finish our improvements to the facilities."
Minister for Sport and Racing Bill Byrne said the Queensland Government had committed $100,000 towards the QRL's Get in the Game Country Week.
"Regional Queensland is the heartland of rugby league and promoting opportunities for our regions to showcase their communities to the rest of the state is so important," he said.
"Events such as Country Week also encourages our kids to get active, while also having fun."
Southern Downs Regional Councillor Vic Pennisi congratulated the Stanthorpe Rugby League for bringing such an event to the region.
"Rural Australia is a breeding ground for future players and many players from this region have gone on to represent Australia in their respective sports," Cr Pennisi said.
"It's important to bring these events to the region to promote sport in rural and regional Queensland.
"I'd like to congratulate the Stanthorpe Rugby League for the hard work they have done to secure this event."
With less than three months to the event, the match organising committee are calling on sponsors and volunteers to get involved.
"Meetings will be held at 5.15pm every Friday afternoon at the Gremlins' clubhouse," Britton said.