In the heartland of rugby league, Queensland fans are arguably the most passionate followers of State of Origin – and topping the list would have to be North Queensland Toyota Cowboys member Joanne Smit!
Winner of a Maroons' money-can’t-buy experience, Joanne enjoyed an exclusive locker-room tour before Origin 1, simply by joining the Cowboys as a 2017 Maroons/Cowboys dual member.
Sharing the experience with her daughter Victoria and close friend Ali, Joanne met Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott and legend Brent Tate who led a behind-the-scenes tour of the Queensland locker room before kick-off to the big game.
Ali, Joanne and Victoria on their Maroons money-can't-buy experience!
A fellow dual member herself, Ali says the prize came at the perfect time.
“Six weeks ago, Joanne was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours and had to have immediate surgery to remove ten of them.
“The operation ended up being one of the largest of its kind ever performed in Australia – which is not really a record she wants to have!”
While Joanne has a long road to recovery with rehab, the tumours (including the ones remaining), are all benign.
“Joanne is still undergoing rehab and possibly some radiotherapy in a few months; it’s going to be a slow recovery but she is a tough Queenslander!” Ali said of her friend.
A military family originally from Northern Ireland, the Smits moved to Australia and spent many years in Townsville and now consider themselves Queenslanders through-and-through.
It was during their time in the North Queensland capital that they fell in love with the Cowboys, and remain loyal fans even through postings to other NRL club homelands such as Canberra and Brisbane.
“We met Joanne and her family in 2007 and have loved the Cowboys since then," Ali said.
“We both love North Queensland, and the Cowboys are a great team. They are so passionate and they love their fans.”
"We felt pretty special to be allowed in the Maroon dressing room! And the guys [Tate and Scott] were amazing; they are super down to earth and told some great stories!" Ali said.
TICKETED DUAL MEMBERSHIP – STATE OF ORIGIN III
On sale until 25 June
• 1 x Bronze category seat at 2017 State of Origin III (Wed 12 July, Suncorp Stadium)
• 1 x ticket to three Cowboys home games at 1300SMILES Stadium (Northern, Southern, GA)
• Maroons merchandise pack
• Cowboys merchandise pack or Cowboys Team Shop voucher
• Plus all the benefits in the supporter dual membership!
>>> $150 / JOIN NOW
SUPPORTER (NON-TICKETED) DUAL MEMBERSHIP
Cowboys membership inclusions:
• Cowboys merchandise pack (value $25) or Cowboys Team Shop voucher (value $30)
• Exclusive digital content and club updates
• Cowboys Leagues Club membership
• 10% off Cowboys home game tickets for family and friends
• 10% off Cowboys Team Shop merchandise
• Summer Members Bar access
• Priority access to State of Origin and NRL finals tickets
• Access to member-only discounts and events
• Voting rights for Members' Player 2017
Maroons membership inclusions:
• Maroons merchandise pack
• Maroon insider content, team news and updates
• Member-only event invitations
• Access to members-only bar at Suncorp Stadium
• Exclusive offers from sponsors and partners
• 20% off Maroons merchandise in-store and online
• Access to Members only competitions and experiences
• Priority access to State of Origin and NRL ticket offers
>>> $60 / JOIN NOW