The Capalaba Warriors Junior Rugby League Club may have experienced their fair share of flooding, but that doesn’t make it any easier to face the aftermath of the rising waters.
Club president Tanya Bonney was again counting the cost to the club after the waters following last weekend’s deluge which struck the southeast and central areas of the state.
“My first aid room is trashed – which was fully stocked for start of season mind you,” Bonney said.
“We had a referees room downstairs, all of the walls are trashed, we have a builder coming to look at them.
“The gym – when we opened the gym doors on Monday night – it looked like it had been under water for years.
“The gear shed where we keep the lawn mowers and all that, they got the big lawn mower out, but the foot mower and the whipper snippers and the blower and the gurney and all that; they put it up on the hill where we didn’t pass that in 2011, so they put it up there thinking ‘we’ll be fine’, but yeah, nope.
“This was bigger. All of that trashed and gone. All of our tackle bags, hit shields and all of that, gone.
“We have spent so much time on our fields over the off season, our fields were perfect, they were the best they had been in years, for Mother Nature to go ‘here, have a curve ball’.”
However, the club have been able to call on the help of the wider rugby league community and beyond, with some local – and not so local – helpers pitching in at the club this week.
Players and staff from the Warriors NRL club (Aaron Pene, Jazz Tevaga, Marcelo Montoya, Wayde Egan, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Jacob Laban, Ali Leiataua, Tamakaimoana Whareaorere, Zyon Maiu'u and Sefanaia Crowley-Lupo) headed to the juniors Warriors home base on Friday to assist with the clean-up mission.
“The Warrior boys came down… Jason (Fiddes, wellbeing and education officer) from the Warriors reached out to me on Saturday, and said keep in touch and as soon as you are ready to get cleaned up, we’ll get some of the team down there to give you a hand,” Bonney said.
“I knew they were coming, but it was a great surprise to all of the people who turned up today to help for the boys to be rolling in and getting dirty as they say.
“They were great, they did not stop. They were magic; every time you turned around, they were helping somebody, if anyone needed a hand.
“We (also) had some people who were just public come and help … Meals on Wheels at Capalaba, they did trays of sandwiches and fruit for them for lunch.
“One of (the players) goes, ‘what about some wicked wings?’ and I said ‘no, you’re NRL players and you are in training, so it’s all healthy food’.
“They all ended up in Capalaba Warriors hats and I was like ‘oi, when you run out, I expect to see you with your hat on your head’, they all got a Capalaba Warriors hat.
“Some of them they fitted, others did not …
“Honestly, they were a godsend.”
Bonney also made mention of the work her husband Jarrod Bonney, daughter Melony Bonney and club members Luke Brampton and his son Noah in particular had put in to the salvage mission at the club.
For the Warriors, reaching out to the junior Warriors was a chance to help out in the community, having made Australia home for the past two seasons.
“I live in that area, I don’t have any connections at the club, but I follow the club on social media, so when I saw the flooding, which is not the first time actually, whenever there is significant rain, that club always gets hammered with flooding, I thought it would be good to get our boys out there,” Fiddes said.
“On top of that, because of COVID restrictions and things, our boys have not been able to do any kind of community engagement work, and that goes for other teams across the comp as well.
“Obviously this year, with things being a bit different, we always had some intentions to get out and about and do stuff, so when I saw what the Capalaba Warriors were going through again, I hit up our community department and asked if they thought reaching out would be a good idea and they said yes, and so I did, and so we made plans to help out.”
Once the fields are drained and the sheds are fully cleaned and the equipment and gear is restocked, Bonney is hoping to see more players sign up to take part in the season with the club which she aims to run like a family home.
Young players looking to be part of that environment can register to be part of their upcoming season, or any junior club in their area, at www.qrl.com.au/play.
As well as having fun on the field, one of the favourite post-season activities is at trip to the men’s NRL grand final, and some of the junior players are hoping to see some familiar faces there this year.
“We take our under 13 boys and under 14 girls to Sydney at the end of every year, so they go down to the grand final and all of that and they fundraise all year,” Bonney said.
“My daughter is an under 14 girl and Noah, who has been there all week with his dad... they turned around and went to the (Warriors) boys, ‘righto, we will see you at the grand final...and make sure you look for us because we will be there’.”
QRL.com.au also provides many useful resources for clubs and leagues, including information to assist recovery in extreme weather events via the Clubhouse.