22 October, 2022

Junior rugby league players represent Sunshine Coast at 2022 Murri Carnival

THE 2022 Queensland Murri Rugby League Carnival was held at Moreton Daily Stadium from September 27 to October 2 and featured junior and senior players from across the state.

The Sunshine Coast Bunyas U14s boys team.
The Sunshine Coast Bunyas U14s boys team.

This year’s carnival marked the 10th anniversary of the Arthur Beetson Foundation, which aims to improve the health and well-being of indigenous Australians through numerous education, sport, employment, and business development programs.

The Murri Carnival not only provides the opportunity for junior grades to be selected for the Queensland Merit Team, but also focuses on health vocation and education.

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rugby league players were encouraged to nominate for their local team.

Six players from Stanley River, Caboolture, and Beachmere clubs played for the Sunshine Coast Bunyas team including sisters Mikaela Hewitt-Filian (U15s) and Mia Hewitt-Filian (U15s), Malekai Towney (U14s), Emjay McElligott (U14s), Ryley McKean U14s), and Bayley Henry (U18s).

The Sunshine Coast Bunyas team manager was Brad Beetson, son of Arthur.

A Sunshine Coast Bunyas Spokesperson said “The Murri Carnival is all about coming together as a culture, connecting with roots, representing your mob, and playing footy.

“Everyone loves it.” Bunya players had to attend five training sessions which involved a range of team building exercises, learning about cultural and tribal links, as well as skill training.

Throughout the three-day junior part of the carnival, selectors were out on the field choosing players for the “Possible” and “Probable” teams.

These teams competed on day three, and players from that match were then selected for the Queensland Merit Team.

Mikaela and Emjay were selected for the “Possible” and “Probable” teams, however they were unsuccessful in obtaining a position on the Queensland side.

Sunshine Coast Bunyas committee member Ashleigh Hunter said all the juniors put in their best efforts and played some fantastic footy.

“The Murri Carnival is a huge cultural event but mostly about bringing families together and playing footy.

“Footy means a lot to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”  


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