Maree Blow has spent her whole life in Beaudesert, with the exception of five years in Mackay.
Maree is one of five children. They all attended Beaudesert Primary School and Beaudesert State High School, where she enjoyed playing netball and her brothers all played football.
Her mother, Julianne, was a big influence in Maree’s life, she was dedicated to her children and worked hard.
“It was always busy,” says Maree, “Mum was down here [at the Kingfisher grounds] most days, she was always stopping, dropping and running. I don’t know how she did it.”
Sport has always been a big part of the talented footballer and Co-Captain of the Grand Final winning Beaudesert Kingfishers Senior Women’s team.
When Maree returned from Mackay with husband Campbell Stuart and their three children, Jo Holland approached her about a Senior Women’s football team for the Kingfishers.
The Club had an Under 16s women’s team a few years earlier but it hadn’t progressed, so at the age of 32 Maree and a group of dedicated women stepped up into the Seniors ranks.
Craig Ryan and Jo Holland coached that first year and Maree was selected as Captain.
Half way through the first season, Maree snapped her ankle, putting her out for the remainder of the season but she was returned the next year.
Six years later, at the ago of 38, she Co-Captained the team that won the Grand Final for their Division as well as their Region.
“This year has been our biggest changeover of players and everyone has just fitted in. There’s only one brand new girl who hasn’t played rugby league before so everyone knows their jobs and what they’re doing.”
“Look at what we’ve achieved in what has been our biggest turnover of players.”
The women have a strong commitment to the team, training three days a week with Co-Coaches Keith Gee and Rob Brown and playing on the weekend.
Maree says she loves playing rugby league but it is not a sport for everyone.
“There’s nothing like it. You can’t hold back, because you’ll get hurt. You have to go hard or you’ll come off second best.”
“I say to girls who want to try – come and have a go because you don’t know until you give it a go.”
“Having three brothers it was always rough at home – I had no dolls growing up. I was playing with the boys.”
Maree and Campbell have three children, two girls and a boy.
Her son, Hayden, also plays for the Kingfishers but the girls haven’t followed suit so far.
Maree is heartened by the increased profile of women’s sport, particularly recently.
“The opportunities young girls have are amazing and I’m jealous,” she laughed.
“If they put their minds to it and are willing to do the hard work, they can definitely go places.”
Asked how she manages to work full-time, raise three children and train and play for the Kingfishers, Maree didn’t hesitate to respond.
“I have a wonderful husband,” she said.