CONFRATERNITY UPDATE: The Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League has referees in Bundaberg officiating at the Confraternity carnival.
The PNG League announced via social media that Mekenzie Dokta and James Kundi are honing their skills at the independent schools event.
“Through this kind of exposure and learning, our match officiating improves and so to will the standard of the game,” the league said.
SUNDAY: The Confraternity rugby league and netball carnivals opened yesterday after two years of planning, with a huge influx of people giving the Bundaberg Region a massive economic boost.
It was a full house at the Bundaberg Multiplex on Sunday evening for the opening ceremony.
Shalom College principal Dan McMahon said they were fired up and ready to roll as thousands of visitors came from all over Queensland and arrived in Bundaberg over the weekend.
“There are just over 1000 kids here to compete and 3000 plus more people in town who have come from all over the sState for this event,” Mr McMahon said.
“It’s the biggest carnival of its kind in the country and it will showcase all sorts of talent right here.”
Mr McMahon said they wouldn’t have been able to host Confraternity sports carnivals of this magnitude without support from Bundaberg Regional Council and use of the Multiplex.
“We really couldn’t have hosted it, as we use the Multiplex for four of the indoor netball courts and one at Shalom,” Mr McMahon said.
“We have had so much support and really appreciate it.”
Mr McMahon said this year’s event was an important milestone as it was 40 years ago when the first rugby league competition was played in the Bundaberg Region and 20 years ago netball was incorporated and played for the first time, also here in Bundaberg.
“In 1980 the Christian Brothers held the first rugby league confraternity and 2000 was the first time they included the girls with the netball,” he said.
“In 2000 there were 16 QISSN teams and now there are 64, so it shows the growth in this event.”
He said the flow-on effect from the QISSN and QISSRL Carnivals would be felt in the Bundaberg Region in the future as well as immediately.
“All businesses will feel it from supermarkets, accommodation and all the restaurants in town, some of which are fully booked,” Mr McMahon said.
“It’s wonderful for these families to come here with the students and see what the region has to offer and they will return in the future for holidays to check it out in depth.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey said it was a chance for the Bundaberg Region to welcome young people from all around the state.
“The 20 and 40-year anniversaries are symbolic and are a testament to the strength and sporting achievements of students who are attending the carnivals this week,” he said.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s sport and recreation portfolio spokesperson, Cr Helen Blackburn, said it was a huge honour to welcome so many visitors for the confraternity sports carnivals.
“The teams will be arriving with officials, parents and volunteers, requiring an estimated 4000 beds for the week,” Cr Blackburn said.
“Economic modelling suggests a benefit of more than $5 million to local businesses.
“There will be thousands of promotional benefits as well through social media and news coverage.”
Cr Blackburn congratulated organisers for their professionalism in planning the events meticulously.
“They began meeting with Council around July last year to begin planning and logistics,” she said.
“Council is pleased to support both events with contributions of $5000 each through the Sport Championship Funding Program.”
Local businessman and Spotted Dog owner Stephen Patterson said the Confraternity was great for the region and he looked forward to serving the “hordes” of hungry sportspeople.
“It really is good to welcome all the schools and people from other regional areas to Bundaberg,” Mr Patterson said.
“We are sure going to be busier than normal over the next week, but it won’t just be us. Every business in town will feel it, from the servos to the accommodation providers – it’s a real positive for the region.”
- Massive sports carnival will deliver $5 million economic boost