'Fabulous' junior rugby league comp
PROSERPINE was busting at the seams on the weekend as a record 80 teams converged on the town for a junior rugby league competition.
About 1200 under-9 years players took part in the annual Paul Bowman Challenge, with teams coming from as far away as Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Mt Isa and Cairns to compete.
Gold Coast team Coomera Cutters Silver took home the top honours defeating Townsville team Western Lions Roar in the grand final of the two-day competition.
On Saturday and Sunday morning games were played in eight pools, each with 10 teams.
The winner of each pool then played off in the finals series on Sunday.
Mossman Sharks received a participation award after pulling together a team made up of players from several teams.
Proserpine Whitsunday Rugby League Club secretary Leanne Hoffmann said the award was given because the Mossman Sharks team "played in the true spirit of the carnival".
The annual carnival, now in its 12th year, was named after former Proserpine junior league player who went on to play for the Cowboys in the NRL, as well as for Queensland in the State of Origin.
Bowman, himself, was on hand on Sunday to present the winners with their awards at the carnival which is organised by the Proserpine Whitsunday Rugby League Club.
The Townsville Brothers team won the Sam Faust Relay, named after a former local junior player who went on to play for the Cowboys.
The running race saw competitors pass a rugby league ball instead of a baton in a relay.
Proserpine Whitsunday fielded two teams in this year's carnival.
The White team, made up of under-9 players, won six of its games, drew one and lost one in its pool competition.
The clubs Blue team, made up of under-8 players, gained some valuable experience competing in the carnival it will still be eligible for next year.
While the team did not win any of its games, Hoffmann said the players still had a ball taking part.
Hoffmann was pleased with how the event went this year.
"It went fabulous," she said.
"Everyone was very happy with the weekend."
Hoffmann also paid tribute to everyone who helped make the carnival a success.
"A huge thank you to everyone involved. Without helper and parents it wouldn't run as smoothly as it did," she said.