League's big past gets recognition
A SOLD out celebratory dinner to celebrate 100 years of rugby league in Gympie will be attended by scores of footy fans tonight.
The special function is being held at the Gympie Civic Centre and while there will be reflections on the past, present and future, there will be plenty of star power.
The dinner incorporates the Birth of Origin show, headed by former Australian representative players and original State of Origin captains Tommy Raudonikis and ‘Big’ Artie Beetson.
Footy fans will be digging deep into their pockets as well when a rare Queensland State of Origin jersey signed by all captains since the staging of the first series goes under the hammer.
Aside from the dinner, Albert Park tomorrow is the venue for a bumper day of league.
Included in the line-up is a QCup match between City and Country, to be televised live on ABC TV, a women’s State of Origin clash and the Gympie Devils colliding with Caloundra.
The televised match between City and Country is a major drawcard and yesterday, City players went through their paces at Jack Stokes Oval under the watchful eye of Paul Green.
Green is a former Queensland State of Origin player and his experience was being put to good use as he sharpened the skills of his players with some last minute finetuning.
The training session coincided with a rugby league Gala Day, headed by Darren Burns, for primary school students in Grades 3 and 4.
The students were thrilled to witness high quality players going through their paces, while also receiving a rare preview of what to expect tomorrow when City and Country do battle.
Gympie Rugby League president Scott Dodt has been overwhelmed with the response to the 100 year celebrations.
“Tickets sold out close to three weeks ago, so the demand has been incredible,” he said.
Dodt said 2000 people were expected to line Albert Park Saturday for the schedule of eight games.
Meanwhile, two Under 7 Gympie junior rugby league players will take to the field during half time of the City vs Country match. Admission to Albert Park costs $6.