Carnival shows strength
DESPITE the wet weather, women and girls from across the region are ready to hit it out in Emerald this weekend at the annual Highlands Hit Out Women's Rugby League carnival.
Debuting last year, the Highlands Hit Out is an annual female-only carnival showcasing talent from across the Central Queensland area.
The weekend doesn't just include development on the field but also development off the field, with well-being and education sessions on mental health and coaching the female athlete.
Rugby league lovers will witness two days of women's action with the Central Highlands stage of the Karyn Murphy Schoolgirls Cup being played today, followed by the Open Women's Hit Out tomorrow.
Six teams are competing for the silverware this year with defending premiers Emerald Tigers taking on the Clermont Bears and Emu Park in Pool A.
In Pool B, last year's runners-up Blackwater Crushettes will face off against the Emerald Cowgirls and Dysart Bulls, with the top four teams in the competition progressing to a finals series to determine who lift the trophy.
There's an extra incentive for the players participating at this year's Hit Out with the day announced as a Development Camp as part of the new Central Crows Emerging Women's program announced recently by Central Division.
Newly appointed Queensland Maroons Women's coach Adrian Vowles is making the trip north as a special guest for the Hit Out and is looking forward to seeing the talent in the area.
"There will always be talent that stands out be it a new player or someone who is more experienced and I'm looking forward to seeing it all on show,” Vowles said.
The Maroons Women's coach is excited about the growth of the women's game at a state and national level with the hope of more elite opportunities in future years.
"I love that the game is growing and that there are distinct pathways for girls and women in the game now.”
"I'd like to see a Queensland Cup for women in 2018/19 and an NRL competition by 2020.”
"I'd also like to see the Queensland v New South Wales match played before State of Origin and make it a three-game series.”
Vowles is looking forward to visiting Emerald once again and can't wait to see the action on show.
"I'm looking forward to coming to Emerald as it's a great rugby league town and can't wait to see the quality of footy on show.”
Gates open at McIndoe Park Emerald at 11am,
with a bar and canteen running.
There will also be a kick- for-cash competition and 100m dash later in the day.
Fans who can't get to McIndoe can follow the games live at http://bit.ly/HighlandsHitOut