RUGBY LEAGUE: The Wynnum Manly Seagulls will once again attempt to play a Hostplus match on the Fraser Coast.

It has been the pandemic that has stopped it from already happening.

In 2020 the State-Wide season was shut down before Southeast Queensland was placed in a lockdown on the day of the scheduled 2021 fixture sending the Wynnum Manly team racing back to Brisbane.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls bring their Hostplus Cup clash with the Sunshine Coast Falcons to Hervey Bay on June 18.

Mayor George Seymour said the Fraser Coast region would host a game of Queensland’s premier state-wide rugby league competition every year for the next three years, further stamping its growing reputation as a major sports destination.

“The Hostplus Super Cup competition is a pathway to the NRL for elite rugby league players in Queensland, and it will be fantastic for local fans and players to see such high-level games in their own backyard,” he said.

“The games will be terrific for tourism on the Fraser Coast. The teams bring their supporters and players to the region, and the matches could potentially be televised on Kayo to an expected audience of more than 50,000 people.

“We also welcome the fact the Seagulls are looking to incorporate training clinics and a fan day into their visit to the Fraser Coast.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls Chief Executive Officer Hanan Laban said:

“The Seagulls are proud and excited to bring a Hostplus Cup match to Hervey Bay.

“It is a strategic goal of the Wynnum Manly Seagulls to expand our audience and take games to the communities where rugby league matters a great deal.

“The Hervey Bay region is a terrific area, and we can’t wait to get back up here soon for our Indigenous recognition match against the Sunshine Coast Falcons.

“We are again proud to partner with Deadly Choices and the Fraser Coast Regional Council to put this event together, and we look forward to engaging with the Fraser Coast community on the weekend of June 18.

“We will work closely with Deadly Choices to promote healthy choices and health checks across the local Indigenous community. And we hope to help the Fraser Coast Regional Council increase the number of visitors to the area both on the weekend of June 18 and for many months to follow.

“We would like to thank everyone that has helped to put this event together, including the Hervey Bay Seagulls rugby league club for allowing us to play here and the Sunshine Coast Falcons rugby league club as our opponent for this Indigenous recognition match. Bring on June 18.”

Chairperson of Galangoor Duwalami Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Service Graham Douglas said the game was a great opportunity to promote healthy lifestyles.

“The Wynnum Seagulls game at Hervey Bay provides an excellent platform from which the Galangoor Duwalami Primary Healthcare Service is able to engage with our local communities and encourage people to book in for a health check and receive their Seagulls Deadly Choices shirt, to support the team on game day.

“We’re proud to have a small and dedicated Deadly Choices team that operates across Fraser Coast communities to provide education and encouragement around the benefits of leading a healthy life.

“Our teams encourage local Mob to exercise regularly, eat healthy food and avoid sugar, tobacco and alcohol, in order to assist us in closing the health and life expectancy gap among our people.”    

Cr Seymour said the Hostplus Super Cup game built on the steady stream of recent major sporting events on the Fraser Coast, including the Brisbane Roar visit, the annual Touch Football Junior State Cup, sailing championships and state triathlon championships.

“Sporting events on the Fraser Coast are bringing in thousands of visitors who inject millions of dollars into our local economy when they spend money with local businesses, such as accommodation providers and restaurants and cafes,” he said.

“Council is determined to ensure we build a strong and resilient local economy alongside a healthy and active community. Supporting sporting events like this game and visit by the Wynnum Manly Seagulls help us achieve those goals.”

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