Ostwald heads into the Intrust Super Cup grand final
HE GREW up, and grew his love for league, in Gayndah and now Chris Ostwald is set to make his hometown proud when he takes to the state stage this weekend playing in the Intrust Super Cup grand final for the first time.
Ostwald plays with the Easts Tigers and the team defeated the Burleigh Bears 36-26 at the weekend's preliminary final victory, away from home.
The 23-year-old hooker said the Tigers had to work really hard in recent weeks to claw their way into the finals.
"So to get that win on the weekend was a really good feeling amongst the team," he said.
"We had a tricky start to the year which put a lot of pressure on the back end of the season where we had to win pretty much every game of the last 5 or 6 to even be in contention of finals."
The team will take on the Redcliffe Dolphins at Suncorp Stadium at 3.05pm on Sunday.
"I'm looking forward to the whole experience, I've never been apart of something like this before, this big," Ostwald said.
"There's already been a lot of hype about the game and I'm just looking forward to getting out there on Sunday and putting my best foot forward to try and bring home that trophy."
Ostwald was coached by his father from a young age.
He played the majority of his rugby league in Gayndah as part of the Central Burnett Brumbies team before moving to Kingaroy to complete senior schooling and join the Kingaroy Red Ants.
He said he was really proud of the fact that he came from the North Burnett and he could pave a way for younger athletes.
"It's pretty exciting to have been able to do something that not a lot of people have done from up that way," Ostwald said.
"I'm really grateful for all the people who have put time and effort into my career so far."
For the younger league players in the region, Ostwald said their ambitions would take them far if they pushed themselves.
"There's always going to be room for a hard-worker on a team so just keep developing your skills and working hard."
Ostwald now juggles league with studying his final year of a Bachelor of Education at Queensland University of Technology as well as working as a part-time fitness trainer most mornings.
Upon graduating he wants to combine his passions of sport and education.
"I want to find my way into an elite sporting school to start off with, before making my way back out to the country to help influence the next generation of sports stars to come through, like so many people have done for me," he said.
"It's massive to have someone to look up to and have them support you through your endeavours.
"I've had a lot of very supportive friends, family and teachers from the North Burnett who really pushed me to develop my skills and without them I wouldn't be down here playing."
For now Ostwald hopes to continue playing with the Tigers.
"We've got a really good squad down here and I think a lot of the boys are planning on staying," he said.
"We've got good coaching staff, good facilities and good people in and around our club, and I'm excited to be around those people."
This weekend's game will be broadcast live on Channel 9.