For more than 40 years, Confraternity Carnival has welcomed tomorrow’s stars.
Johnathan Thurston wore the blue and white of St Mary’s College, Toowoomba, in 2000 before embarking on one of the greatest careers rugby league has known.
His replacement as Queensland halfback, Daly Cherry-Evans, featured in St Patrick’s College, Mackay’s Confraternity Carnival team.
Now, the next generation of stars will have better access to “Confro” with the creation of a new foundation.
Queensland Independent Secondary Schools Rugby League (QISSRL) has launched a Foundation to help students and schools attain the carnival experience.
All donations to the QISSRL Foundation will support Confraternity Carnival organisers QISSRL to assist schools in their Confro endeavours.
“We created this Foundation to build on the Spirit of Confraternity and to allow past players to give back so that the Confraternity story can continue to provide a pathway and support to the current generation of students,” QISSRL President Peter Elmore said.
“The Foundation will financially assist disadvantaged players and schools to access the carnival.
“It will also support disadvantaged students with their post school options and provide opportunities for indigenous students and students from families facing financial hardship.”
Giving back is a part of the Spirit of Confraternity.
In Mackay this year, the sidelines will be filled with coaches, managers and teaching staff returning again for another Confro experience.
Some are former players.
Padua College’s Scott Maguire reaches his 25th carnival this year. He has been Padua’s head coach 18 times but his journey began as a player in the QISSRL Merit team in 1987.
Matt Geyer, an NRL premiership winner and State of Origin representative, is back again this year to coach Marymount College.
Geyer didn’t play Confraternity Carnival but he showed what it meant when he shed tears of joy after his Marymount team reached the semi-finals in 2019.
“I was so proud of those boys for what they achieved after many years but that’s what Confro does,” Geyer said after the win.
“It’s like nothing I’ve ever been involved in before and it’s a highlight for us every year.”
All donations to the QISSRL Foundation are tax deductible and can be made via the Australian Sports Foundation website: https://asf.org.au/donate/confraternity-carnival