As the Provan-Summons Trophy continues its epic excursion throughout North Queensland the Cowboys development team have continued their work in promoting the game in some of the more remote areas of the state.
A five-day tour of the Central Highlands took in the towns of Clermont, Capella, Emerald, Anakie, Ilfracombe and Winton, with school visits the main activities undertaken.
Grass may be in short supply in areas such as Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott's home town of Ilfracombe but Cowboys game development manager Liam Bartlett said the enthusiasm for rugby league could not be greater.
"We started our tour in Clermont, taking their women's team for a training session. They were keen to get back into their rugby league and couldn't wait to strap on the boots again," Bartlett said.
"We then visited Clermont State High School where we took 35 students for a training session involving fun and vigorous games.
"It was safe to say they all enjoyed the sessions and learnt what being a Cowboy is all about."
Capella State High and Capella State School were next on the itinerary, followed by sessions at Emerald North, Emerald State and Emerald High.
Anakie State and Ilfracombe State were next on the Centrals Highlands development tour, with the Ilfracombe students embracing the fact current Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott hails from the town.
"Even with no grass, the kids wouldn’t be stopped in running around with a football playing all sorts of fun games," Bartlett said.
"Even through tough times with limited water, they were keen as ever to enjoy the afternoon and participate to the best of their ability.
"Throughout the activities, it was a common occurrence of all the kids saying ‘I want to be Matt Scott’ as they ran with the ball."
On Tuesday the Cowboys and the NRL jointly hosted a special needs come-and-try day at the Kern Bros Drive junior rugby league grounds.
A total of 17 children from throughout Townsville took part in the day which involved a number of rugby league-themed activities and games, including tackling, running through hit shields, side stepping and kicking.