COOKTOWN’s junior rugby league club has a new leader, with Ash Crowe stepping up to be president.
The volunteer committee works tirelessly organising training, jerseys, team photos, promotional gear, new equipment, game days and a host of other administrative tasks.
Mr Crowe moved to town 18 months ago with wife Josie and their three children, and the family have immersed themselves in local life, including footy.
“This will be my first role elected onto a committee and I’ll throw 100 per cent into learning the ropes,” he said.
“The work Jake, Jacynta (Hunt) and Katie (Welsh) have put in this year to kick off the season deserves a massive round of applause and I’m extremely grateful to have Jacynta and Katie continuing beside me as treasurer and secretary.”
Mr Crowe said small clubs played a vital role in providing opportunities, skills and mateship in both small and large towns.
“Since moving to Cooktown we have been a part of Little Athletics, the Cooktown Amateur Swimming Club, social sports at the PCYC and the Cooktown Re-enactment Association.
“Small clubs wouldn’t be able to succeed without the helping hands of our community.
“The support from our volunteers and sponsors ensure these amazing little clubs stay around and give us all something to be proud of.”
Club stalwart Jacynta Hunt, who has been on the committee in various roles since 2021, said for her it was all about the kids.
“I don’t have a sporting background, so I can’t coach, but I help in the way that I can behind the scenes, organising events and handling the administrative side of things,” she said.
“Sometimes I stand on the verandah of the clubhouse and watch training. Seeing 92 kids on our beautiful field with their awesome coaches makes me happy.”
Ms Hunt said being a volunteer committee member was almost like a second job for the small committee of three.
“It’s a big job, we have to liaise a lot with Queensland Rugby League to remain compliant and we’re constantly liaising with families, making decisions, planning events, managing registrations and so on.
“But both of my kids love football, so it’s just what you do as a parent to provide opportunities for your kids.
“Sport is such an important part of a kid’s life and development, and I love that as a club we are providing so many of Cooktown’s young people with a sport to be a part of.”
Treasurer Katie Welsh said her children were registered for the Cooktown Crocs before she had even moved to town.
“We joined football immediately as a part of that transition when we moved from New South Wales,” she said.
“The kids always played football and touch, and I had been LeagueSafe at our previous club, but it was much bigger with lots more committee members.
“The previous Cooktown treasurer had encouraged me to go to the AGM, so they looked at me and said ‘you can do treasurer can’t you?’ so I agreed.
“It’s important for the kids to have a sport and it was a way of becoming a part of the community as well, it was a nice way to meet people and to be a part of something and contribute.”
Ms Hunt said the club really appreciated outgoing president Jake Lynch’s commitment and efforts during his time at the helm.
“He stepped in as a coach and LeagueSafe as well as president to fill in where needed and was a very supportive member of the committee,” she said.
“We are extremely grateful for everything he did for the club in his term.
“We wish him, Tris and the kids all the best.”