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NSW Wheelchair season launches in style

The 2024 NSW Wheelchair Rugby League (NSWWRL) season has started with a major boost with international design and packaging company, imsglobal, signing on as a major partner.

The new two-year deal was announced at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence last night (Friday 15 March) at a function attended by imsglobal CEO Mark Mahoney, NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Inclusion, The Hon. Kate Washington MP (above second left), and NSW Minister for Women and Seniors, The Hon. Jodie Harrison MP (above right).

Other guests included NSWWRL Chair Edie George (second right), Wheelchair Rugby League Australia Chair Martin Meredith, NRL Wheelchair Ambassador and Westpac NSW Sky Blue Emma Tonegato (left) and Wheelaroos and NSW captain Brad Grove (centre).

“The commitment imsglobal is making to wheelchair Rugby League shows what happens when a sport captures the public’s attention,” NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said.

“Off the back of the World Cup success, where the Wheelaroos made the Semi-finals, the game has a far wider appeal now and everyone wants to be a part of it. The annual Interstate Challenge between NSW and Queensland continues to grow in popularity among fans.

“Last year NSW Rugby League unveiled its wheelchair Wall of Honour, here in this building, where every player for NSW has their name and state number recorded.

“The players of today – with the support of companies like imsglobal – are creating a legacy for wheelchair Rugby League; an inheritance that future players will also benefit from.”

Imsglobal, in its 26th year, has four pillars to its business – artwork design, creative production, packaging and digital services – and clients in 12 countries including global giants like Unilever, Kellogg’s and Nestle.

imsglobal Chief Executive Mark Mahoney (L)  & Chief Operating Officer Andrew Gale. Photos: Warren Gannon Photography, NRL Photos
imsglobal Chief Executive Mark Mahoney (L) & Chief Operating Officer Andrew Gale. Photos: Warren Gannon Photography, NRL Photos

Mahoney said he had recently been introduced to wheelchair Rugby League.

“The seed was planted and the timing was right to get involved and try to give back to the community,” he said.

“I haven’t yet seen a game live, but I’ll be rectifying that shortly. I was like many others watching the Wheelaroos compete in 2022 at the World Cup. It’s a fast and furious game with major appeal.”

The NSWWRL club season will begin in late March with the Parramatta Eels defending their 2023 Premiership after a thrilling come-from-behind 26-24 over the Wests Tigers, while Manly Warringah Sea Eagles are the Plate Final titleholders following a 36-16 win over Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Canberra Raiders will enter a team in the competition for the first time in 2024.

“We’ve had a couple of sponsors in the past before but not to this same level of commitment and admiration,” George said.

“Sponsorship will relieve some of the stress that comes with facilitating wheelchair Rugby League in NSW – such as, cost of hiring venues, supplying game-day equipment and chair maintenance, in addition to putting together development programs.

“It’s a massive occasion for us to have the likes of imsglobal on board as they are providing more than just monetary value, they are providing us with services that will allow us to grow and expand our sport in NSW. And for this, we are grateful”.

The 2024 NSWWRL season begins on 7 April.

The launch also recognised the NSW Push and Power competition, with players and sponsors present on the night.

The NSW Push and Power competition starts today (Saturday 16 March) at Kevin Betts Stadium Mount Druitt.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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