EUROPE BOUND: Local Group 18 JRL players are set to take the journey of a lifetime.
EUROPE BOUND: Local Group 18 JRL players are set to take the journey of a lifetime. Scott Powick

A footy trip in a league of its own

TWEED'S gun footy juniors will travel to Europe next year to play matches against teams from England, France and Spain before commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the end of the Great War.

Local Group 18 JRL Under-15 players from across the Tweed have been selected to play in the Battlefield Challenge, France, in what the Group 18 JRL has labelled the "opportunity of a lifetime” for the youngsters.

Junior players will receive an education on the Anzac history in France and, through the prism of sport, be drawn closer to their compatriots who once served.

"To commemorate 100 years of World War I in the battlefields of the north of France, teams from the south of France, Paris, England and Australia will converge on the north to compete in battle like our ancestors and those amazing men who sacrificed their lives 100 years ago,” Damien Quinn, a teacher at Banora Point who teaches some of the players that will be on the trip, said.

"I felt we had a team that would be interested and would compete well and uphold the values of Australian mateship, camaraderie and character and would be great ambassadors for our area.

"It is an opportunity of a lifetime to travel and compete overseas and represent not only ourselves and families but our local clubs and region on an international level as well as paying our respects to those who sacrificed so much before us.”

Before any showdown with the Europeans, the boys' first challenge will be to raise funds for the trip, selling raffle tickets, frying up at Bunnings' barbecues and searching for individual sponsors. If businesses are interested in sponsoring the trip they can contact their local Group 18 JRL club.