Talented youngsters from the entire western region of NSW will converge on Bourke tomorrow to show their skills in front of some of the game’s biggest names.
Mario Fenech, Hazem El Masri and David Peachey will travel to the town to oversee the Outback Challenge round robin tournament aimed at children from years 3-6.
In recent years the tournament, with the help of the Australian Rugby League (ARL) has grown in stature and this year 14 teams of boys and six girls squads will compete for the title, which was last year won by Goodooga.
South Dubbo Primary finished runners-up last year and they will again be sending a team to compete against schools from Bourke, Cobar, Warren, Walgett, Gulargambone, Nyngan and Brewarrina.
There is also a team of Bourke Distance Education Centre students who are from large regional properties and have never played together.
Fenech, who is one of the ARL’s ‘One Community’ ambassadors, yesterday told the Daily Liberal how proud he is to see the event growing.
“I’ve been there a couple of times now and the thing about the carnival is that these kids just want to play rugby league,” Fenech said.
“They come from so far away, I think the area is about 600km apart for some of them, to play football and it’s their only chance to play this great game.
“Rugby league does a lot for the community, it really represents the whole community and myself and Hazem and ‘Peach’ are lucky to be involved with bringing this carnival to Bourke.”
After enjoying a career which included 274 club matches with South Sydney, North Sydney and South Queensland, as well as two State of Origin appearances for NSW, Fenech is now entrenched within the NRL and in the media.
He said a film crew from Channel 9’s The Footy Show will also be travelling to Bourke for the tournament.
“A crew will be coming out and we will be covering the carnival and it will be good to show everyone who loves rugby league what these kids face,” he said.
“The good thing is the media – your paper and The Footy Show included – are giving these events publicity and letting people know they are on.
“There is a lot of talented kids in some of these places and they don’t get much of a chance and I am just so proud to be able to bring rugby league to them.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.