IN A MAJOR highlight of the Queensland Rugby League calendar, the Glyn Rees City-Country Cultural Exchange was hosted by the Coolum Colts.
Queensland Rugby League Juniors Advisory Board chairman Geoff Orman said the concept was originally for outback boys to play extra football and have great experiences.
"The boys who have come are absolutely having a ball," Mr Orman said.
"They got to Brisbane on Thursday morning and went to a Broncos training session," he said.
"Then they came up and had a training session with the Sunshine Coast Falcons, which was really good of them to do under the circumstances.
"The Coolum club have also been unbelievable with all they have organised.
"Money raised by a club at these kinds of events normally goes to the club, but Coolum have organised raffles and donations to support the Ackerman family."
Queensland Rugby League operations manager (outback) Peter Rafter said teams were from all over Queensland.
"The outback team has representatives from places like Mt Isa, Charleville and Cloncurry and they spent 30 hours on a bus to get here," Mr Rafter said.
"The kids have all been really good together; it's all been about teamwork, the games have all been played in really good spirit and there are some real good kids here," he said.
Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson said Coolum Colts club was "worthy of special mention" as host.
"My hearty congratulations go to the organising committee and also the Coolum Colts Rugby League Club for the great work they have done in staging this," Cr Jamieson said.
"It's tremendous that rugby league has such foresight in creating carnivals like this.
"This event obviously creates great opportunities for young men and women from the far-flung areas of Queensland to come down to the Sunshine Coast and really enjoy themselves playing the sport they love, and at the same time see another pretty special part of Australia which is our Sunshine Coast."
Courtesy of Sunshine Coast Daily