For Brothers, Adrian Vowles Cup players form one big family
“IT is an old cliche, about rugby league being one big family, but it really is true.”
Vice president of Toowoomba Brothers Rugby League Club, John Haywood, is a firm believer in the strong bonds that young men (and women) form in rugby league, and it is why the club is such a strong supporter of the Adrian Vowles Cup.
They are by far the biggest contingent to descend on Charleville, with 60 players and up to 40 parents in any given year, and Haywood said the annual trip is one of the most-anticipated events for their extended footy ‘family’.
“This is what our players look forward to the most after the end of every regular season,” he said.
“When it rolls around every year, the kids are always talking about Charleville, and they have been looking forward to it all off-season.
“We have been fundraising to help with the cost to get the kids out here, and doing whatever training we can – it has been limited with all this recent rain, but we are certainly not whining about that.”
For Brothers, the footy family extends well beyond their own club.
Back in the day, Haywood played league with none other than Shaun ‘Zoro’ Radnedge – co-organiser of the Adrian Vowles Cup.
He said everyone putting these carnivals together knows one another from years gone by, and wants to foster those new connections with the young people playing today.
“We keep coming across these guys as adults and administrators in rugby league, and it is always good to catch up with then,” Haywood said.
“As the kids grow older, they will make rep sides with some of the kids they meet here in Charleville, and it is generally such a great feeling.”
It also forges a connection between the clubs, as young people move around the region.
“Over the years we have picked up a few former Western Ringers, who have come across and know us from the carnival,” Haywood said.
“Usually they have come to boarding school in Toowoomba, and join because we have been out that way and they’re familiar with us.
“So it is a great connection to have, good promotion for us, and most of all, great for the competition as a whole.”