Women’s sport enters a new league in Cooktown

A $300,000 project is ushering in an era of change for women and girls who like to take to the rugby league field in Cooktown.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the funding is piloting a new approach to infrastructure with modular changerooms to be installed at the John Street Oval, the home of the Cooktown Crocs Rugby League Club.

“Everyone loves the Cooktown Crocs, and we’ve seen that especially with the numbers of girls and women starting to play rugby league at the club,” Ms Lui said.

“So I am very pleased that the Sports Minister Mick de Brenni has seen how important this club is to Cooktown and the towns around it, and has provided this $300,000 funding to provide two new changerooms and four toilets, including a disabled toilet.

“It will definitely be much appreciated by the club – in 2018, the Crocs fielded an all-girls under 14 team for the first time and they also fielded mixed under 12 teams.

“And about 80 people, including boys, girls, men and women use the John Street Oval to play touch football.

“The new modular facilities are scheduled to be installed next year and I am determined to deliver new sporting infrastructure in more efficient, innovative ways.”

Cooktown Crocs President John “Chook” Giese thanked the Queensland Government for the funding and said it would make a huge difference to the club.

“At the moment, girls and women arrive at the ground ready to play because the John Street Oval doesn’t have appropriate facilities,” Mr Giese said.

“Recently an under 14 girls’ team from Cairns was asked to change in the bus they travelled in and eventually used the first aid tent.

“We hope the new change rooms help us attract new teams from surrounding communities and increase the number of girls and women who want to play.”

Sports Minister Mick de Brenni said local rugby league clubs like the Cooktown Crocs played a leading role in creating inclusive communities through sport and active recreation.

“The clubs become social hubs for the whole community, so the whole community should have the opportunity to play,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Queenslanders want to see their government dealing with the barriers to this sort of community engagement that regional towns face, so that all Queenslanders including women and girls can get in and have a go. And that’s what we’ll do.

“The last time I was in Cooktown for the QRL Country Week event, locals told me how important it was to simply have somewhere to get changed for the game.

“I’m up here this week specifically to give north Queenslanders more opportunity to tell me about any other issues or barriers that prevent Far North Queenslanders getting involved in sport.

“Our government is developing a 10-year Sport and Active Recreation Strategy for all Queenslanders regardless of age, gender, ability or location.

“Community consultation closes on 12 October, so I encourage everyone to have their say.”

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