22 July, 2021
Laurie Spina Shield a real winner
SEVENTY teams descended on Townsville over the weekend for the 24th Annual Laurie Spina Shield, one of the largest U11s junior rugby carnivals in Australia.
Coordinated by the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys alongside major presenting partner and digital marketing provider Localsearch, the carnival focuses on participation, fair play and enjoying the ‘greatest game of all’ and brings together players from as far as the Torres Straits, Mt Isa and South East Queensland alongside a huge contingent of North Queensland outfits.
This year’s Laurie Spina Shield was played under the new Player Development Framework, which means no scores are kept, however players are still encouraged to give their best effort on the field.
Clubs from Far North Queensland made the journey to Townsville for this new format competition.
Cairns, Innisfail, Mareeba, Malanda and Tully attended along with Weipa and Torres Straits.
Zenadth Kes Stingers from the Torres Strait Island participated for the first time this year.
A relatively new team, the Zenadeth Kes Stingers was only established three years ago.
The Zenadth Kes Stingers under 11’s team put in the hard yards to prepare for the competition with three days of training per week as well as additional travelling needs for lots of players from neighbouring islands.
Zenadth Kes Stingers President, Rees Davies said: “All our coaching staff and players had an amazing carnival. We travelled with 16 amazing kids that played well and showed a level of sportsmanship that made us the proudest coaches and parents at the competition, our staff lost count of how many people approached us to tell us how great our team was.
“As predicted, our girls played their hearts out and not only matched it on the field with the boys but received a majority of the player of the match awards which, I believe, made the boys rise to another level to back up their efforts.
“Our goal was to give the kids the experience of being part of a team and to help them grow as footy players and athletes and I think we achieved every bit of it. They represented the Torres Strait Islands to the highest level and we couldn’t be prouder.
The team’s joy for the game is what drove their desire to be involved in the tournament. We have community members involved in the fundraising for the intense travel itinerary which involves all modes of transports – from ferry trips, bus rides and aeroplane travel, just to be involved in what will be a memorable experience.”