THE rumble of about 750 pairs of footy boots echoed across Bega’s George Griffin Oval on Saturday.
The annual Group 16 junior rugby league event is hosted by the Bega club and saw teams from Eden to Moruya and several clubs from Canberra take the field.
Bega Minor League Football Club president Norm Griffin said ominous forecasts kept a few teams at bay, but things ran smoothly.
“The day was fantastic, everything was drawn up well and ran to the plan,” Griffin said.
“It was a massive day, we started early and finished under lights about 6.30pm.”
Teams played three games each on the day, with Griffin saying the carnivals developed the kids’ skills very quickly.
“Because they play so many games of footy in one day, their skills and knowledge of the game just improves so rapidly.
“Carnivals are the best thing for the younger kids.
“We’re actually holding another junior carnival later in the year,” he said.
The carnival day also provided the chance for local clubs, who compete against each other regularly, to take on some big name Canberra squads.
“They did a really good job with the draw where a lot of the local kids played against the visiting teams,” Griffin said.
“The draw was set up by Connie Picker from the club and everything ran down perfectly.”
With about 50 teams competing you could expect a few injuries, but Griffin was happy to report there were only a few incidents during the carnival.
“Safety is a paramount concern for the players during an event like this,” Griffin said.
“Bob J Meaker donated his time to be the first aid officer for the day and the way he managed things is commendable.
“But obviously with a sport like rugby league you do get a few bumps and bruises,” he said.
Griffin said the day was a huge success thanks to the volunteers who coordinated it all.
“I have to thank Stuart Smith and Ray Ringland, they helped out so much on the day.”
Organisers expected numbers to be up this year, but forecasts of snow on Brown Mountain kept a few teams at bay.
“Unfortunately we did have about seven Canberra teams pull out.”
Meanwhile, those that did attend enjoyed the day, and some are already making plans for next year’s carnival.
“We had a great response from the visiting clubs.
“They loved it, I spoke to some of the parents from the Bulls and they were already making plans for next year.”
It was a good day for Moruya, making it to the finals in three grades, while the Roosters won the under 11s division.
The Bega club is holding a special fundraising junior training this Saturday from 10am.
The day is open to kids between five and 16 years old.
The cost is $10 with money raised going to the costs of rebuilding the Bega Rec Ground canteen.
Registrations are due by 5pm today.
To register call Sonya Jessop on 0439 820 987.