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Boots donation a boost for grassroots footy

More grassroots rugby league players in remote North Queensland and Pacific Island communities will benefit from the donation of pre-loved footy boots, following a wave of support across Cairns and Mackay for the Boots for the Bush program, presented by Elders.

New collection points for donated boots have been established at Elders Mackay and Toyota dealerships in Cairns and Mackay, with donations to help regional communities access quality footwear in locations where visiting sports stores may not be an option.

Established in 2013, the Boots for the Bush program invites the community to donate pre-loved football boots in good condition at a central collection point, for the Cowboys to send to grassroots players in remote locations.

With the rugby league season underway, Cowboys members and supporters and the rugby league community are once again being encouraged to visit a collection point.

Fatmilak Lasmat Sharks, PNG.
Fatmilak Lasmat Sharks, PNG.

Elders Townsville branch manager Scott Mawn, who has supported the Boots for the Bush program over a number of years said it was an opportunity for communities to give the gift of rugby league.

“This is a partnership we are proud to be a part of since 2018, and we often hear inspiring stories from remote communities about how the donation of boots is encouraging participation and spreading joy,” he said.

“These pre-loved boots are helping players in remote communities to get out on the sporting field, benefitting the health and wellbeing of those communities and giving them the opportunity to play the sports they love.

“We are proud to team up with the Cowboys and help develop the game throughout North Queensland and into the Pacific Islands where there is so much talent.

A Boots for the Bush delivery made it's way to Bwgcolman Community School on Palm Island.
A Boots for the Bush delivery made it's way to Bwgcolman Community School on Palm Island.

“We can’t wait to welcome both senior and junior players to our Townsville and Mackay stores to drop off their pre-loved boots and help make a difference in North Queensland and Pacific Island communities.”

Boots have previously made their way to locations including Palm Island, Cape York Peninsula, Mornington Island, Doomadgee, Normanton, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.

Following the recent arrival of boxes of donated boots, players from Papua New Guinea club Fatmilak Lasmat Sharks were so encouraged by the donation, they got straight out on the training paddock to put the new footwear to good use.

“They were really grateful for the support provided by the Cowboys, saying the boots really make them want to get out on the fields,” PNG Youth worker Valentino Balane said of the team.

“The team consist of two teams, A (senior) and B (junior) grades, coached and trained by their very own talented ex-players.

“The club produces very good raw players in the system, and they all enjoy the chances given in every local tournament in the area.”

Pre-loved boots in good, wearable condition across a range of sizes can be dropped off at these donation points:               


  • Elders Townsville (29-31 Bolam Street, Garbutt)
  • Cowboys Team Shop (Cowboys Leagues Club, 313-335 Flinders Street)
  • Cowboys HQ (Hutchinson Builders Centre, 26 Graham Murray Place, Railway Estate)


  • Pacific Toyota (235 Mulgrave Road, Bungalow) 


  • Elders Rural (2 Alexandria Rd, Alexandria 4740)
  • Mackay Toyota (Cnr Nebo Road & Shakespeare Street)
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.