It never ceases to amaze me the amount of time and support long term locals give up to help their community across Outback Queensland. The owners and staff of BOOBOOK (Ecological Consulting) are another great example of this, even if I do say so myself.
Two years ago, I and some fellow like-minded people, started a junior touch football competition in the town of Roma in Outback Queensland. We had over 150 players sign up in the first year. The population of the Maranoa Regional Council area in which we live is around 13,000 people. Roma, the major regional town has a population of around 7000 people.
In year two we have over 250 U6 to U12 players from the Roma, Injune, Wallumbilla, Mitchell and Surat areas – all towns located in the Maranoa Council region.
I love playing sport (although the body doesn’t keep up as much as I would like it to these days) and I particularly enjoy coaching. It is great to watch players grow not only with their sporting abilities, however also with confidence as young people and community members.
I guess it is these passions that have landed me with the job of “leader” for the Junior Sub Committee; with this however, comes some tough decisions.
Here’s a story for you:
Weather is looking fine all day. As the touch training and games time draw nearer in the afternoon we watch some storms build to the west. Checking the website, there doesn’t appear to be a lot behind it. Touch time rolls around, the kids are all out in force and training begins. A few spits, a bit of rumbling, a short sharp shower goes overhead and a few bolts of lightning appear in the far off distance.
Quick kids under cover! Five minutes later the rain had passed and the kids and coaches began to go back out to continue play. The decision – keep going or call it off. What would you do?
There wasn’t much rain and only the stems of the grass were slightly wet – so the fields were fine to continue playing. Everyone also knows how much kids get hyped up when there is a little wet weather about – so keeping them off the fields would be a huge effort.
Well a little bit of drizzle – no problems. A little bit of wind – all the better to cool things down. A tiny bit of lightning about (even in the far of distance) – NO WAY. Human life is much more important than anything else – so I made the call – Junior Touch was called off that afternoon and everyone went home safe and sound.
Another day, we had to call junior touch off due to extreme heat. With temperatures of 40C not even the lizards want to come out and play. Much safer to stay hydrated, at home and out of the sun.
By Meryl Eddie, BOOBOOK Ecotours, Roma Qld