A retrospective take on the history of QRL, and its partnership with CAP Security Services.
As we’re amidst the State of Origin series, and yes, we can’t wait for Game 3, we thought that this month we would chat about the history of Queensland Rugby League (QRL). Just in case you didn’t know, the QRL is the governing body of the game of Rugby League in our Sunshine State. They’re responsible for fostering, developing and governing the game, from junior to elite levels. They provide statewide competitions, divisions, representative teams and programs, and even local leagues.
QRL is a non-for-profit organisation steeped in tradition and is responsible for driving not only the sport’s growth in Queensland, but also the overwhelming amount of volunteers and external support.
So, how did QRL come to be?
Queensland rugby league folklore suggests that the game was established from a borrowed investment of five pence after a group of Brisbane rugby union footballers, who met daily to talk about football, decided it was time to establish the ‘Northern Rules’ game in Queensland. After borrowing five pence from a workmate, one member, Sinan ‘Siney’ Boland’, decided to mail letters to meet with six football colleagues. It was here, at a meeting in Brisbane’s Roma Street in 1908, that Rugby League in Queensland was born. Pretty interesting story, isn’t it?!
To keep you in the know, we’ve crafted a timeline detailing the history of QRL. Now, whilst it may be succinct, we think it’s pretty comprehensive!
- Brisbane staged the state’s first club competition between Valley, Toombul, North Brisbane and South Brisbane, mostly comprised of former rugby union teams and players keen to join the new ‘professional game’.
- As the rugby union body secured sole leasing rights to the Exhibition Grounds, QRL secured a lease to utilise the Brisbane Cricket Grounds as their playing headquarters.
- As the game flourished, the representative scene became highly anticipated, with an annual interstate series, intercity challenge matches, tours by local and interstate representative teams, and international tours.
- With playing ranks dwindling, few enclosed sporting grounds and a general lack of public support, the onset of the First World War saw sporting associations go into recess
- By the end of the war, as the rugby union was now declared broke, and the other football codes playing strictly as amateurs, rugby league had no opposition, sporting-wise, and enjoyed massive public support, making it the largest sporting body of its type.
- Queensland Rugby League signed an agreement with Brisbane City Council for the use of Lang Park for the next 12 years; an important event that would change the game for years to come.
- Brisbane City Council granted another 21 year lease of the Lang Park site to Queensland Rugby League (QRL).
- Lang Park was used for regular club fixtures however, the grand final was still staged at the Cricket Ground. It was a fitting send-off for the League’s former headquarters dating back some 25 years.
- Lang Park became the sole headquarters for the QRL, which was now the first major Australian Stadium driven by the establishment of rugby league and finally confirmed the sport’s unofficial standing as the number one sport in the state.
- Queensland Rugby League announced the construction of a new 5,000-seat grandstand at Lang Park
- Lang Park hosted interstate and international rugby league matches, including the inaugural State of Origin Match in 1980
- The stadium’s name was changed to Suncorp Stadium, as naming sponsorship was obtained by Queensland financier, Suncorp-Metway Limited.
- CAP Security Services was awarded tender for Suncorp Stadium
- QRL’s flagship team, the XXXX Maroons, won an incredible eighth-straight State of Origin series.
- Massive growth seen in the female game, with over 6000 active participants
- The overall number of males and females registered to play in Queensland Rugby League competitions was 72,811
- A record number of 224,135 spectators attended the 2015 Holden State of Origin Series across the three games
Today, the organisation works to expand the reach and diversity of the rugby league game. From community leagues, to state teams, QRL continues to bring people together to support the game. The organisation also prides itself on its volunteer network, which spans coaches and trainers to presidents and secretaries. Clearly, the love of the game, and passion for working within such a prominent organisation, is a reason for people to join the QRL team.
Undoubtedly, the biggest, and most infamous event in the rugby league community is the State of Origin. Mate against mate, state against state, since 1980 the QLD Maroons and NSW Blues have been at war competing for the ultimate prize in rugby league – the fancy State of Origin shield. And we can see why, that shield means business!
CAP Security Services have been fortunate enough to provide security for 34 State of Origin games. Some may say that it’s a pretty great gig – working beside a fantastically successful team of athletes and seeing the game unfold. Every year, the three-match decider series attracts bigger and bigger crowds. And believe it or not, not every crowd member is necessarily a rugby league fanatic, with many patrons attending the games to simply be apart of the wild and exciting atmosphere. So if you’re not a rugby league fan – don’t fret, you won’t be alone! The game is worth attending purely for the entertainment.
This year was no exception, with over 80, 000 people attending Game 1 and over 52,000 attending Game 2 in Queensland, yikes! CAP Security Services provided security for the QLD Maroons team this year, and were with the team every step of the way in the lead up to the matches. If you caught a glimpse of the Maroons team around town, it’s very likely, if not certain, that we were close by.
The partnership: CAP Security and QRL
CAP Security Services and QRL have been working together since 1997. We’ve grown together to form a strong partnership which we hope will continue in the future. As you would have already heard, we’ve been chosen to provide security for State of Origin and NRL events, as well as for the Maroons team. And trust us, it’s been our pleasure!
We hope that this has given you a greater insight into the work and purpose of the QRL organisation. We can’t wait for next week’s State of Origin Game 3! Go the Maroons!
We were fortunate enough to receive feedback from QRL, catch their testimonial, amongst others on our Testimonial page, here.