NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, Minister for Sport and Recreation Gabrielle Upton and NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith today announced the largest grassroots grants program in the history of Rugby League.

The new ‘NSW Footy Facilities Fund’ will see the NSW Government and the NRL invest $1 million each into a funding program to support junior and senior Rugby League clubs upgrade or build new facilities.

This may include spending on items such as new seating, goal posts, canteens, lights, fields, fencing, drainage, dressing rooms or storage facilities.

To secure a grant of up to $75,000 from the joint investment fund, local Rugby League clubs must be able to match the grant through their own financial or in kind contribution, including obtaining some support from the council if the facilities are on council land.

Overall this will create the opportunity for a total investment pool of $4 million to be spent on Rugby League facilities across the state.

“This is great news for grassroots Rugby League and the future of the game in NSW,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“This is an investment which makes sense because it’s absolutely vital people of all ages keep active and it will be a great incentive by ensuring their facilities are up to scratch,” he said.

“We want young kids out running around playing Rugby League on the footy field instead of in front of the computer screen.

“I congratulate and thank the NRL for teaming up with the NSW Government to create the ‘NSW Footy Facilities Fund’ which will put a spring in the step of people who love Rugby League.”

Minister Upton said the O’Farrell Government is determined to keep increasing participation in sport.

“The ‘NSW Footy Facilities Fund’ is all about ensuring grassroots Rugby League is well resourced, making it even more attractive for both juniors and adult players,” Minister Upton said.

“This is about building change rooms to be proud of, upgrading canteens, or installing lights that allows teams to train in the depths of winter.

“Providing players with good facilities can be the difference between getting them playing the game or losing them to the iPad or Xbox.

“Local Rugby League clubs run on the blood, sweat and tears of tireless volunteers who work so hard to raise funds to make their club the very best. The ‘NSW Footy Facilities Fund’ will allow them to tap into funding and fast track their improvement plans.”

Mr Smith said the NRL and the NSW Government have worked together to deliver an effective program that will improve the standard of Rugby League grounds and facilities and deliver participation, safety and social benefits to local NSW communities.

“Through working in partnership we can drive investment of more than $4 million and deliver better results for Rugby League clubs across the state,” he said.

“Our mini football (ages 5 to 9) player numbers grew by more than 5% last year across Australia and this program will ensure better facilities are in place to support our NSW players.

“This grant program will also help deliver social and economic outcomes for many communities across the state, from Wagga Wagga to Wollondilly, Ballina to Broken Hill, by creating jobs and building community facilities.

“The support from the NSW Government for grassroots Rugby League clubs has been fantastic and we look forward to seeing the outcomes of this new program come to life over the next few years.”

Details of the ‘NSW Footy Facilities Fund’ and how to apply can be found at http://www.dsr.nsw.gov.au/grants/

Clubs are encouraged to download the grant guidelines to ensure their applications meet the objectives of the program, which include:

  • increase regular and on-going participation opportunities in rugby league in a safe and sustainable manner;
  • improve the standard of rugby league grounds and facilities for participation, safety and social benefits.

The project should address both of the objectives.

The Premier was in attendance with Todd, Greenberg (NRL), Minister Gabrielle Upton the Wests Tigers players Curtis Sironen, Dene Halatau and Sausao Sue, along with local club officials Scott Galvins, Eddie Cummins and Julie Luke (pictured below) during the Launch from Worrell Park Junction Road, Ruse on Saturday at the Campbelltown Warriors.




Refereeing is a fun, exciting, non-contact way to be involved with Rugby League. Not only do you get to see all the action from the best position on the field, but it’s a great way to keep fit, and meet new and interesting people.

The Level 1 Referee course will teach you the fundamentals of the Referee’s involvement in the game. The Course comprises of ten units of online learning and some face-to-face* learning. Once you have completed the online and face-to-face sessions, you will have gained the skills and knowledge needed to be a fair and effective referee.

*On completion of ALL ten units, a short face-to-face assessment is required to test skills learnt in the 10 theory modules.

To register for an upcoming course please click the button below.










Rugby League Come and Try & Sign On Day

White Rock School

Come & Try on the school oval from 9.30am Saturday 22nd March

Boys & Girls 5 – 12 years are invited to a Come & Try and Sign on Day for the brand new junior Rugby League club in Cairns — The White Rock Cannons.

Sign On at the school hall 10.00am—2.00pm

Junior rugby league is played with modified rules and a Safe Play Code is strictly enforced.

Please bring Mum or Dad and your birth certificate.

Club Registration fees $150.00 each player.

For further info, contact Terese Allen 0422 190 350.


The excitement of the upcoming Rugby League season is beginning to show at grassroots levels with junior club registration numbers more than doubling in just one week, with more than 170’000 young boys and girls expected to sign up across the country in 2014.

Rugby League focuses on a whole-of-game program so the day your child joins a club, is the day he/she starts playing Rugby League while developing skills including try scoring, evasion, passing, and kicking.

The learning scale for Rugby League is broken up into three categories with the two earlier categories Mini footy and Mod League designed around modified rules.

This ensures a fun and safe environment for all ages and children can begin playing competitive Rugby League as young as six years of age and caters for both boys and girls.

Mini Footy (5-8 years) has been developed to meet the needs of younger children and focuses on involvement and encouraging learning skills through play without the pressure of sticking to the straight rules of the game.

The fields are smaller, no contact is permitted above the armpits and games are played over three 10 minute periods.

Mod League (9-12 years) is the middles ground when the demands of adult Rugby League is too much but the simple Mini Footy is not challenging enough.

Matches are played over two 20 minutes halves, no contact is permitted above the armpits, and the ball carrier may not be tripped, pushed or lifted from the ground to be then driven to the ground when tackled.

The benefits of playing a team sport are enormous providing children not only with exercise but can help with vital life-lessons in personal values, team work and relationship building as well as being a positive social outlet for the whole family.

Sport assists in the development of motor skills and assisting with cognitive development, listening skills and taking instructions as well as learning valuable social skills, including cooperation, confidence and respect for others.

For more information on getting your boys and girls involved visit www.playnrl.com sign up with a club and become part of a community today.



The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and Johnathan Thurston have joined a campaign by the Palm Island community to improve school attendance in 2014.

Over the next two weeks, the NRL club and their co-captain will link with St Michael’s School and Bwgcolman Community School to ensure that all children on the island are enrolled and attending school.

“We want to kick the school year off with a real push to get families to enrol their kids in school and once enrolled ensure their kids attend,”  Thurston said

“Closing the education gap for Indigenous kids starts at Prep/Grade 1 and establishing good attendance patterns as early as possible is essential.”

An ambassador for Queensland Reconciliation Awards, Thurston has donated two of his own personally signed playing kits to each school and each child enrolling and attending each day will receive a ticket in a draw for the prizes.

“It was a huge honour to be nominated again by Premier Newman as an ambassador for the Reconciliation Awards and this is one way in which I can use that role to make a difference” Thurston said.

“Education is the key to the future for all kids and for indigenous kids it’s the key to closing the gap but for that key to work they have to go to school every day.

“As well as encouraging the kids to attend, I want to use projects like this to encourage all families and the broader community to take responsibility for good school attendance.”

Welcoming the initiative by the Cowboys, the two-time Dally M Medal winner and the Palm Island Community, Regional Director of Education, Training and Employment, Richard English, said: “It is very clear that student learning outcomes, particularly NAPLAN results, improve dramatically when students attend school regularly.

“In order to close the gap for Indigenous students’ results, every day of learning in every classroom is most important.

“Student learning outcomes improve as student attendance rates improve.”

“The great thing about having Johnathan and the Cowboys involved is that they will help to get the school attendance message to whole families and the community more broadly and not just the kids.

“This support from the Cowboys, and particularly Johnathan, will link nicely with the employment of School Attendance Officers as part of the Federal Government’s new Remote School Attendance Strategy program.”

The prize winners will be drawn on 21 February.


Paul Munnings, Toyota Cowboys Media Manager, mobile 0429706674, email pmunnings@cowboys.com.au


The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have visited 16 schools in Alice Springs this week to help spread the NRL’s anti-bullying message, #tacklebullying.

The players shared some of their own bullying experiences with over 1200 children in the region, as Game Development and educational staff from Sydney and the Northern Territory taught the groups the five steps to #tacklebullying – Stand Strong; Stay Calm; Respond Confidently; Walk Away and Report.


Schools, Junior Rugby League clubs and NRL players are all warming up to the 2014 Rugby League season. While summer temperatures are still the norm, school is back and registrations are open for schools and teams wanting to play Rugby League.

This week the Cronulla district hosted NRL Game Development staff spreading the Tackle Bullying message as part of the annual Community Carnival. Paul Gallen, Todd Carney and Beau Ryan were among the players who visited schools promoting the “Five steps to Tackle Bullying”. Students are advised to:

–        Stand strong

–        Stay calm

–        Respond confidently

–        Walk away

–        Report    if they do experience bullying.

It is hoped the current campaign can assist teachers and sports teams deal with the serious issue of bullying and preparing children to look out for each other.  As Junior League clubs continue their recruitment drives, NRL players also spoke to schools about the benefits of playing any sport, but particularly Rugby League.  At Oyster Bay Public School nearly thirty players from Como Jannali and Sutherland Loftus United Junior League clubs shared their stories with Sharks players after the official assembly presentation. The young players agreed that making friends was easily the best part of playing in a team.

Backyard League programs, League 9s, Girls Rugby League and Touch Football events are all again on the agenda for local regions in 2014 as NRL Development Officers set up their calendars.

We look forward the season ahead and will report on this site as events and programs occur.

Best wishes to all clubs as they prepare for 2014 kick off.