Initial registration data reveals that the number of boys, girls, men and women registered to play in the 2018 NSW Rugby League competitions in the Sydney metropolitan area are trending ahead of figures for the same time last year.
On the eve of the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership kicking off tomorrow, data also shows a growth of 40 per cent in the number of teams entered into NSWRL women’s competitions in 2018, from 64 in 2017 to 89 in 2018. This includes the first-ever all-girls competitions in Australia for under-6 to under-12 age-groups which will be played in the Penrith district from next month.
NSW Rugby League CEO David Trodden said: “The growth in our women's competitions and alternate formats reflects the wonderful work being done by our staff in the community competition department and the Junior League clubs in this very important area of the game.
“Our staff and the Junior League clubs work particularly hard in the area of participation issue and in the past 18 months to two years have been achieving excellent results, with the successful delivery of programs such as W8s, M8s and Friday Night 9s, which encourage the social and fun aspects of the game.”
Trodden said a M8s competition for 10-12-year-olds played in Manly on Thursday nights over the past four weeks had attracted 24 teams, with a large number of first-time Rugby League participants.
He said in another great initiative, specifically aimed at creating a positive environment for all Junior League participants, seven NSWRL Club and Competition Coordinators are conducting a series of face-to-face meetings with more than 2400 Junior Rugby League club officials across 10 Sydney districts in 24 days to prepare for the 2018 season kicking off.
The club information and education nights provide relevant messaging and resources to club committee members, coaches and managers, for their use and also for the parents of almost 40,000 players who will participate in NSW Junior Rugby League competitions starting from the weekend of 7-8 April.
“The great work that the NSWRL team and our Junior League clubs have been doing appears to be reflected in the very positive initial registration data which we have received,” Trodden said.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said: “The fact that every district in Sydney is trending ahead of where we were last year is a really positive result for the game.
“The hope is that it transitions into the growth at the end of the registration period.
“The NSWRL have taken a very strategic approach to participation and they should be commended for that. Our development officers have been involved in that process and the collaborative approach has led to some positive initial results."