PROUD CLUB: Grafton Junior Rugby League Under 12s coach Rhys Hambly and club president Troy Carter with the Group 1 Junior League Weilly Cup.
PROUD CLUB: Grafton Junior Rugby League Under 12s coach Rhys Hambly and club president Troy Carter with the Group 1 Junior League Weilly Cup. Contributed

Junior clubs shine at presentation night

Clarence Valley junior rugby league clubs made their presence known at the Group 1 Taipans Junior Rugby League presentation nights, with both the Grafton Ghosts and Clarence Coast Magpies bringing home a number of awards.

Among the awards the Grafton Ghosts took home was the Weilly Cup, with their premiership winning Under 12s team named the most outstanding team in the competition across all age groups.

First time president Troy Carter also claimed president of the year, an award he said wouldn't have been possible without the work of their committee.

"It felt special but I didn't do it on my own, the committee has been right behind me, they've been wonderful this year and they all deserve a reward,” he said.

"I share this award with everyone there, I couldn't do it without them.

"This is only my first year as president and we've tried to change the whole culture of the club. It's a real family club we're promoting and it's showing in the results on and off the field. We have a lot of support and sponsors and the club is going in the right direction.”

Carter said the club has placed an emphasis on the mental health of their players, as well as their physical health.

"That's had a lot of very good feedback this year, and we're looking to promote that further next year,” he said.

"We try and educate all of our players on good mental health, not just their physical health.

"It wasn't something we dove straight in to, we wanted to go about it in the right way so we've been involved with the NRL this year with our mental health awareness program and put steps in place for us to concentrate on that for the next three to four years, so it's something that they can develop as they grow and mature.”

For the Clarence Coast Magpies Junior Rugby League Club, their treasurer Greg Graham was named Group 1 Treasurer of the Year for the second year running, while Secretary of the Year award went to Kerry Lee.

Lee said the awards were a good chance to celebrate the players as well as the volunteers who contribute to making junior sport happen.

"I think it's a testament to all the clubs really to the work that goes on behind the scenes and the hours of work the volunteers contribute,” she said.

"It was nice to win the Secretary of the Year award, but as volunteers we all do what we can.

"It's good to be recognised, I think it's a great honour for the players also when they're nominated for Best and Fairest awards, which are decided by the referees after their game each week. It's a big tribute to their character and the way they conduct themselves.”

After claiming a number of awards at last year's Group 1 presentation night, Lee said she was confident the Magpies were going well.

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