THE local rugby league season is over, but there is still plenty of enthusiasm for training in Ballina on Monday nights.
That's because there is a state title up for grabs.
For the first time, an under-15s team from the Cabbage Tree Island rugby league club will be competing at the NSW Aboriginal knockout rugby league tournament, to be held at Raymond Terrace, north of Newcastle, from Friday.
The team is called the Cabbage Tree Island Descendants and is made up of youth from various clubs from the region, and coached by Barry Donovan.
The Cabbage Tree Island club is one of the oldest Aboriginal rugby league clubs in the state, having been established in 1929.
Members of the open team have been competing at the state knockout tournament since its inception in 1970.
Descendants team manager Nathan Jacky said the junior part of the tournament - under-15s and under-17s - had been introduced about five years ago.
He said the local boys had seen their older counterparts compete in the knockout and there was interest to form the under-15s team.
Through fundraising efforts by parents, support from a grant through the NSW Police and business support from sponsors, particularly the Henry Rous Hotel in Ballina, a squad of 25 boys will be leaving tomorrow.
The draw for the competition will be finalised today with the finals held on Monday and televised on NITV.