Year 11 Kingaroy State High School students Gorgie Plowman and Bridie Prendergast with Les Alexander, from NRL

March 17, 2021

A fun day of touch football at T.J. O’Neill Oval last Friday was the culmination of a special rugby league skills development program in local schools which also aimed to spread a positive message: “Booze You Lose”.

This is the second time the Queensland Police Service Rugby League Touch Cup has been run in South Burnett schools.

Over the past few weeks, representatives from the NRL and the South Burnett have been working with students from Kingaroy, Nanango and Murgon State High Schools and St Mary’s Catholic College.

On Friday, about 150 students from the schools played a string of touch games against police officers, teachers and even a couple of local South Burnett councillors who were brave enough to take to the footy field.

The serious side of the program wasn’t forgotten, either, with information stalls handing out information about the effects of drugs and alcohol.

The football toss is always popular at local events, ie. passing a footie through a small hole a few metres away.

But this time the participants had to don “beer goggles” which simulate the effects of drunkenness. An easy task suddenly became impossible …

The Queensland Police Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Unit (DACU) helped to organise and fund the activities.

DACU aims to strengthen police relationships with the community and promote partnerships that can address the harms associated with alcohol and drug misuse in the community.

Officer-in-charge of Kingaroy Police, Senior Sergeant Dave Tierney said that as part of the initiative, students completed anonymous surveys at the start and end of the project.

“These were to identify their knowledge of the issues surrounding alcohol and drugs in their local community and if this had changed by the end of the gala day,” he said.

“Whilst initial surveys results saw students nominate illicit drugs such as ice and cannabis as the greatest issue within their community, by the end the majority all identified that alcohol, a legal drug, had the greatest impact on their community.

“Furthermore, the survey results indicated that at the end of the project the students had a greater understanding of who in their local community they could seek assistance from whether it be within their school, local government, non-government support services and even their local police.”

Detective Sergeant Scott Prendergast with Nanango State High School teachers Maddi Young and Steve Perrett
Cr Kirstie Schumacher, Senior Constable Samantha Giles (Dalby CPU) and Toni Phillips-Petersen (Kingaroy State High School)
Jamahl Turner (Year 10), John Gyemore (Year 11), Malakye Blow (Year 9) and Duran Murray-Smith (Year 11)
Cr Kirstie Schumacher and Cr Scott Henschen with Senior Sergeant Dave Tierney … both councillors tested their skills on the footy paddock
Year 8 students Daniel Lowe, left, and Hamish Mungall, right, with Michael Shepherd, from CRAICCHS
Kingaroy Officer-in-Charge Snr Sgt Dave Tierney, at front, with other police at the gala day at T.J. O’Neill Oval
(Photo: QPS)

Cr Danita Potter tries out the beer goggles challenge

Kingaroy Senior Constables Jade Miller and Rob Firman
Murgon State High School Year 12 student Josh Peterson attempts the passing challenge

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Some On-Field Action

[UPDATED]


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