JASON Costigan’s love for the game of rugby league is undeniable.
But his love for his family eclipses his passion for footy, so he made the tough decision to quit as project co-ordinator of the CQ NRL Bid Team.
First broken by Central Telegraph’ s Russel Guse via the paper’s website on Friday night, Costigan said family reasons were behind his sudden departure from the bid team, just days after former Cowboys boss Denis Keeffe started as the bid’s inaugural chief executive.
Costigan, who had been an integral member of the bid ream since it was launched in April last year with his media skills, league and political contacts and knowledge of CQ, has accepted a voluntary position.
Costigan, a father of two children who live with their mother, will become a full-time dad with his elder daughter Brianna, aged 10, coming to live with him near Mackay.
“Having walked the walk and talked the talk in CQ for the past year and to no longer be a part of it is disappointing,” Costigan said.
“But family comes first,” he said while passing through Biloela en route from Taroom to Rockhampton late Friday evening.
“In 12 months promoting the bid I have probably covered more miles in Central Queensland than Cobb and Co.”
He told Central Telegraph his love of league started with his late grandmother taking him to watch games at the Mackay Showgrounds.
“It was the holy mecca for league in my hometown.”
He became a ball boy and had legendary referee Barry Gomersall as a mentor.
Costigan did play junior footy –“poorly” in his own words.
“The Leichhardt Highway has more bends than my nose,” he quipped.
Costigan’s knowledge of the CQ district, his links within rugby league having work in media roles with the Bradford Bulls in the UK and the Canterbury Bulldogs, as well as his ties with government having worked as an adviser to the Sports Minister in the Howard Government, means his skills will be sorely missed with the bid team set to really push CQ’s case for an NRL side during 2010.
CQ Bid chairman Geoff Murphy paid tribute to Costigan’s contribution to the progress of the Bid Team.
“Jason has been a wonderful asset to the CQ NRL Bid Team,” Murphy said.
“His enthusiasm for the bid is obvious and while we understand and support his family commitments, we know his enthusiasm will be extremely difficult to replace,” he said.
Chief executive Denis Keeffe also credited Jason with much of the of bid’s progress.
“While Jason will not be available to us on a day-to-day basis, I am pleased that Jason will now be one of many regional members who will unselfishly give their time and expertise, working towards securing an NRL club for Central Queensland.
“His passion for CQ and for rugby league is amazing,” Keeffe said
Costigan will continue in his roles as a radio and TV commentator and a regional correspondent for Rugby League Week.