A newly structured Junior League and digital innovation will form part of an exciting new competition for Wests Junior Rugby League following a positive meeting at Wests Campbelltown on Thursday 24 January.
The meeting, held after concerns were raised about the future of Rugby League in the Macarthur region, was attended by 70 officials, club representatives and Life Members, NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden and NSWRL General Manager – Football, Barrie-Jon Mather.
Trodden acknowledged the Macarthur region would always be an important nursery for Rugby League with more than 3000 registered juniors.
"The really positive feeling throughout the meeting leaves all of us genuinely excited about the future of the game in the Western Suburbs Junior League District," Trodden said.
"There were a number of initiatives agreed upon that will benefit the clubs and everyone is really looking forward to kick-off for the season."
The arrangements that were endorsed after a positive 90-minute meeting include:
- newly structured Junior League
- digital innovation that will put Wests at the forefront of junior sport
- shorts and socks will be paid for by Wests Campbelltown
- a process to be undertaken immediately to find a new administrator for the Junior League and the clubs and stakeholders to have input into the appointment
- a strategic planning session for clubs and other stakeholders to have input into the future of the district
- a season launch to be staged at Wests Campbelltown in March.
Other officials involved in the meeting all agreed it was a positive outcome.
"At Wests, we are looking forward to playing a more active role in the development of Junior Rugby League in Macarthur," Wests Group Macarthur Chief Executive Tony Mathew said.
"The joint contribution of NSWRL, Wests Group Macarthur, Wests Tigers, the Magpies and the Junior Clubs can only result in the Junior League becoming bigger and stronger.
"Wests Campbelltown remain committed to Rugby League in their community and as an initial sign of that commitment we have guaranteed a socks and shorts rebate for all our players.
"The good news for our juniors is as soon as you sign up, you get your shorts and socks for free."
Wests Tigers General Manager Football Kelly Egan said: "We at Wests Tigers have always supported initiatives for the propagation of Junior League in the Macarthur and Liverpool areas. We look forward to supporting the positive outcomes which have resulted from recent decisions.
"We thank the Junior League clubs, Dave Trodden from the NSWRL and Wests Leagues Campbelltown for their ongoing support of Junior League in the district and look forward to an exciting 2019 Junior League season."
Liverpool Catholic Club Secretary Renee Smith said: "The meeting held by NSWRL at Wests Leagues Club on Thursday night gave the clubs a good insight for the future of the game in the Campbelltown/Liverpool area.
"We are grateful for NSWRL to work with all clubs and to see our competition remain solid and thrive for the 2019 season."
Campbelltown Warriors President Eddie Cummins added: "The feeling between the clubs is positive as we are all working together.
"We are happy to see Rugby League staying in the local district as our priority is getting kids on the field.
"We, as all clubs, are committed to see our kids have the best opportunities in playing the game we all love."