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Maroons set for Proserpine visit

By Mark Beale

RUGBY league fans are in for a treat later this year with the Queensland Maroons naming Proserpine as host to their annual fun day.

Queensland Rugby League (QRL) officially ratified the move on Friday that will see the Whitsunday region host the State of Origin players on June 30.

“We have selected Proserpine to continue our theme of supporting Queenslanders who are doing it a little tough,” QRL chairman Peter Betros said.

“Unfortunately the area has experienced a downturn in a number of industries, including sugar and mining. We hope this exercise will lift the spirits of people and provide a financial boost for the local rugby league and other community organisations.”

Activities for the fun day, which has visited Longreach, Bundaberg, Roma and Emerald in recent years, are expected to include a street parade, luncheon and a junior Maroons’ clinic at Les Stagg Oval.

Whitsunday Brahmans’ Michael Lee said the fun day would be a boost for everyone in the community and also illustrated how hard the committee is working to promote the sport. “It’s big for the region, not just Airlie and Proserpine but places like Bowen, Collinsville and Mackay… it will be a big event,” he said.

“The people in league in this area aren’t just sitting on their hands doing nothing, we’re out working hard to promote rugby league.”

Whitsunday Mayor Jennifer Whitney added “it’s a great coup for Proserpine to secure a visit from the Maroons and Council will welcome the team to town by offering support for the event where needed”.

Proserpine was also scheduled to host a Queensland Cup fixture at Les Stagg Oval this year, however due to logistical issues that initiative has been postponed until at least next year.

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