Cowra Junior Rugby League Club mark 50 year anniversary

Cowra Junior Rugby League Club celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend.

To mark the occasion, a host of junior games will be played at Riverview Park on Saturday, June 26, followed by a function at the Lachlan Valley Hotel that evening and senior club games and events on Sunday at Sid Kallis Oval.

Although a few club games were played from 1968 onwards, it is generally recognised the Magpies officially came into existence in 1971 due to the efforts of Sid Kallis, John Pollard and others, who will be recognised over the weekend.

There will also be salutes to players past and present, and the army of volunteers that makes the Magpies such a treasured community asset and feared rival in the local Group 10 division.

"All our junior grades will be playing at home on Saturday," junior club president Justin Gunn said.

"Kicking off at 9am, we're looking at running two under-six matches [the club has four under-six teams who will play each other], three under-8 games [the club has six under-8 teams], two under 10 matches [the club has four under-10 teams], the 12s, 13s, 14s and 15s.

"All up we've got 280 junior members, boys and girls, plus a few league-tag teams.

"Through the day there will be two one-minutes of silence to recognise past players who are no longer with us. There will be cultural dances from the Dinawans Connection to acknowledge and salute the strong indigenous involvement in the club.

"Our Old Boys Club will be setting up a big area and putting out photo boards everywhere with pics from past and present."

At the end of the games, which are expected to wrap up around 3pm on Saturday, focus will shift to the Lachlan Valley Hotel.

"The Old Boys will hold a function from there and into the evening at the LVH," Justin said.

"The club will provide food and nibbles and we're inviting any club members, volunteers, family and friends, past and present, to come down and spin a yarn

"There will also be raffles and it will be a pretty casual affair, but it will give people a chance to catch up and maybe relive some glory days."

Cowra Seniors Rugby Leagues club has shifted their game against Lithgow Workers, originally scheduled to play on the Saturday, to the Sunday.

"We've moved our game so we can be there showing our support on the Saturday and wishing them the best of luck and congratulations on the 50-year milestone," seniors president Marc McLeish said. "Cowra juniors has been a valued pathway to seniors for our club so its important we show our support.

"Senior players will be there on Saturday running tunnels for most of junior games so the young kids can run out and be inspired."

Cowra Juniors is part of Group 10 in the country rugby league network which feeds into Western Division.

Talented players usually progress from there to the Penrith Panthers and in more recently the Canberra Raiders.

Shannon Boyd is Cowra Juniors' latest international and recently returned to the area having played for the Titans. Rory Brien, who plays for Parramatta, is now back in Cowra coaching the under 18s.

"This weekend will be a time to celebrate our club, town and community," Justin said. "We've always been very strong and competitive.

A feared rival, you might say. It's never easy for oppositions to win at Cowra.

"We've always been very community-based too. All that will be on show. I just hope the rain stays away."

For more information, check the club's Facebook page, or email gunn.justin@yahoo.com.

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