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Respect. Belonging. Inclusiveness. These were the catchwords of a schools blitz today as the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys made the most of the pre-season trial game trip to Mackay with visits to students across the region.

Rolling out the NRL's Community Carnival and community engagement programs, players and club officials visited over a dozen Mackay schools, spreading their flagship themes and answering students’ questions.

“We love coming into the school and talking to the kids as they’re really engaged and seem to get a lot out of us coming to see them,” said Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote, who visited Andergrove and Northview State Schools alongside young teammate Gideon Gela-Mosby.

“The principles we’re sharing with these students apply to school and to playing in a footy team, so it’s all relevant and relatable.”

Northview principal Paul Manttan said some of his teachers were just as excited about the Cowboys visit as the students, and Coote and Gela-Mosby happily posed for photos as the school rolled out the welcome mat.

“The school is honoured to have the Cowboys – who are hugely popular in Mackay – visit our school, and we’d like to think the players get plenty out of it as well,” Mr Manttan said.

The NRL Community Carnival visits were part of the Cowboys’ extended stay in Mackay ahead of Saturday’s trial double header at BB Print Stadium.

The under-20s Cowboys play the Mackay Cutters at 4.45pm, followed by the Cowboys-Roosters NRL trial at 7pm.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.