The snaking queues that didn’t shorten for almost two hours were a fantastic show of support for the 2014 North Queensland Toyota Cowboys, as they were introduced to the public at the annual Community Day at Townsville RSL Stadium.
Today's public launch of the NRL season was a huge hit as North Queensland’s NRL squad met an estimated 4,500 members and supporters just a week out from the start of pre-season and five weeks away from round one against Canberra at 1300SMILES Stadium.
It was the biggest crowd yet for Community Day and comes on top of an increase in the Cowboys’ membership numbers compared to the same time in 2013.
Along with the Cowboys coaching staff headed by Paul Green, the 30-player NRL squad was introduced to the fans on stage and then signed autographs and posed for photographs at tables dotted around the indoor venue.
“It was a great turnout. I don’t think I’ve ever signed my name so often,” co-captain Matthew Scott said.
“We’re a community-based team and it’s great to see we had thousands of people here who love the Cowboys.
“You’d look up and see the queue getting longer not shorter.
“It looks like everyone’s had a great time which is what Community Day is all about.”
The two hours of free entertainment included performances from the 1RAR band and Spirit cheersquad and the chance to get up close and personal with some special animal friends from Billabong Sanctuary.
The XXXX Push-Up Boys ran a very popular pass-the-ball competition with the lucky winner receiving a Money Can’t Buy Experience at either the Cowboys’ round 4 clash with the Gold Coast Titans or the round 8 match against Parramatta, both at 1300SMILES Stadium.
The packed program also featured rugby league skills coaching clinics with the Cowboys’ development team, the Townsville City Council’s Dads Read program and a presentation on Indigenous heritage at Cultural Corner, funded by the Australian Government, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which will be a new feature at Cowboys’ home games in 2014.
Giveaways from the Townsville Bulletin, Coca-Cola, Baskin-Robbins, Queensland Country and Stockland Townsville, plus the opportunity to win a great accommodation package with Jupiters, ensured everyone had a chance to be part of the fun.
Tropic Petroleum helped fans of all ages test their ball-throwing skills and displayed first prize in their current promotion to win a Townsville Marine 3.95m boat with outboard motor and trailer – details at tropicd.com.au!
Thanks to everyone who came along to make it such a great day!