Shalom College is set for a busy week when teams travel to Mackay to compete in the Confraternity and QISSN Championships.
The rugby league and netball championships attract over 1000 schoolboy rugby league players and over 700 boys and girls from approximately 50 secondary schools from Cairns in the Far North, Mt Isa in the West and Gold Coast in the South.
The CQ University Confraternity Carnival originated in 1981 and comprised six Catholic Colleges that gathered to play a carnival in Bundaberg.
“Confro”, as it became known, rapidly grew in popularity and size, expanding to invite other Catholic and Independent schools throughout Qld. The carnival reached a maximum capacity of 48 schools some time ago, and in 2021 for the first time included the girl’s Rugby League, taking the size of the carnival to 60 teams.
The CQ University Qld Independent Secondary Schools Netball (QISSN) commenced in 2000 with a modest 16 teams and has now grown to a membership of 64 Colleges. QISSN membership includes teams from Queensland Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Independent schools.
Last year the carnival was the first year that both competitions ran a boy’s and girls’ competition for both carnivals. It lasted only two days as COVID shut it down early.
Caitlin Tanner, who will play in the rugby league competition, is excited for the week ahead.
“I am excited to go away and spend time with the team and coaches and expand our bond even more,” Tanner said.
Vice-captain of the boy’s rugby league team Ryan Smith believes perennial favourites St Brendan’s Yeppoon will be their most challenging match.
“We had a hard loss to them at the start of the year. But I believe the boys can come together and take the win,” Tanner said.
Netball vice-captain Brandon Prendergast believes the refinement of the team’s skills over the past few months will ensure they put it all together as a team.
“As a team, I believe we will do well due to the amount of effort from our coaching staff, Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Somerfield. We all have put in 110% so we can compete strongly against the hardest teams in division one,” girls captain Pelenatita Kaufusi said.
Girls netball coach Kylee Johnstone believes the preparation has been good and that the players will proudly represent Shalom College.
Antonio Kaufusi, who will coach the girl’s rugby league team, has only one expectation for his team.
“To enjoy the week and execute what we have been putting into practice on game day,” Kaufusi said.