Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Goodbye to the Capras Mum

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Goodbye to the Capras Mum

Article excerpt

Byline: Matty Holdsworth

NORMALLY, when a seasoned player finished at a club they are carried off the field on the shoulders of teammates. There are tears, grand gestures, handshakes and praise.

But when the 'mother' of a team leaves a club it is a little different.

"She is just a good person, very caring about the players, genuine about everything she does, very honest."

Those are the words of CQ Capras coach Kim Williams, who has only known trainer Leonie van der Meer for a short time but long enough to judge her character.

"All the boys have taken a liking to her and just appreciate her qualities and her skills. She presents a motherly figure around the club and that's very important in a male-dominated environment. To have a lady like that around the club is great, so much respect."

Former Capras stalwart Guy Williams knew her well.

"Leonie has been a huge help over the past few years. Despite her personal health battles, Leonie is always a super positive person who is a pleasure to be around - she brightens up any room she enters," Guy said.

"We're all wishing her the very best with her treatment and are looking forward to having her around the club in the near future."

Leonie was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 3 last year and a week later was being prepared for surgery in Brisbane.

It was a bitter pill for the Capras to swallow, losing a beloved part of the club.

She was gone for weeks but returned to embraces all round.

Sadly, Leonie must head back to Brisbane on a permanent basis. For the next five years, she must be close to her specialists and oncologists.

"It is hard to say goodbye, I love the job and I am very comfortable here," Leonie said.

"They have embraced me into the club. I actually told the boys in Bundaberg two weeks ago, that was my last 'home' game for the club with them. …

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