Ipswich State High School (ISHS) will receive the city’s highest honour, the Keys to the City, for an unprecedented triple-title sporting achievement in rugby league.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the school – from the teachers, coaches, supporters, down to the players – have created a successful world-class rugby league program the whole city can be proud of.
“Council will give the Keys to the City to ISHS to acknowledge and celebrate the school’s historic achievement of winning the Allan Langer Trophy, Phil Hall Cup and the National Schoolboys Cup,” Mayor Harding said.
“This was the first time ISHS had made the national final, capping off what had been a fairy tale, undefeated season.
“ISHS has demonstrated its commitment to furthering the ideals of our city – achieving national recognition for their outstanding performance while representing Ipswich with pride, skill and honour.”
Community, Cultural, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said the granting and presentation of the Keys to the City is the highest honour our city can confer on an individual or organisation.
“ISHS has a long and proud history as a nursery for future rugby league stars,” Cr Fechner said.
“This year’s exceptional achievements on the football field build on this history and bolster the school’s stellar reputation as a provider of sporting opportunities and pathways where dedicated coaches and inspirational role models work to develop elite athletes and valued citizens.”
Division 4 Councillor Kate Kunzelmann said ISHS took a holistic approach with their sporting programs.
“Not only does ISHS focus on skills on the field, but their program also helps with social and emotional development of the players and who they are as a person,” Cr Kunzelmann said.
“We congratulate them on their achievements and wish them all the best for their future.”
Division 4 Councillor Russell Milligan said the Ipswich State High School rugby league team had defied the odds all season.
“The team’s call is ‘do your job’ and everyone involved can say they have done that,” Cr Milligan said.
“We are very proud for ISHS to be given the Keys to the City and we cannot wait to see what they do next year.”
Ipswich State High School Rugby League Academy Head Coach Joshua Bretherton said to be conferred with the Keys to the City is a recognition of the tenacious commitment and hard work the staff and students have shown over the last ten years.
“To have their efforts commemorated by the Mayor and Council in this way is an honour that we will value for a lifetime, and something we could only have dreamed of,” Mr Bretherton said.
“We all feel very proud to be part of the Ipswich community, and the special place the Ipswich State High School Rugby League program now has in the sporting landscape of Australia.”
Previous recipients include tennis champion Ash Barty, Ipswich Elder Aunty Faye Carr, the Ipswich Jets, Queensland Police Service, Leah Neale, Shane Watson, Broncos Rugby League Football Club, Michael Voss, Deborah Lovely and Kasey Wehrmann.
A community function will now be organised to present the Keys to the City to Ipswich State High School in coming weeks.
Source: Ipswich First