Sport a part of Gladstone: Larson

COMMUNITY sport is embedded in the culture of the Gladstone region. Hundreds of clubs draw people to participate in every sport imaginable.

Tannum Seagulls rugby league coach Gary Larson, a former State of Origin and international player, said playing sport had been part of the Gladstone lifestyle as long as he could remember.

"I was a junior in under-8s in about 1975," he said.

Mr Larson said back in those days, kids used to finish the football season and jump straight into the cricket season, then do it all again six months later. That was the way life was and they all loved it.

He said there were a number of factors causing the region to have a strong sporting culture, including the most obvious - the climate.

But there are other reasons. He said there had always been "great people" running sports clubs in the region, which helped turn clubs into strong institutions.

The face of sport in the Gladstone region has changed, with virtually every sport strongly participated in, but Mr Larson said that had not damaged participation in rugby league.

"It has probably doubled or tripled," he said of the numbers since he started.

"Obviously the population growth is the main reason."

"I also think it's partly the corporate dollars around at the moment."

Mr Larson said corporate activity in the region had helped provide better facilities and, sometimes, better coaching.

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