Former NRL and international rugby league coach Brian Smith has been named the ambassador for the ‘NSW Grassroots Rugby League Summit’ being staged at Yamba in February.
Hosting the summit is NRRRL club, ‘The Lower Clarence Magpies’ who received funding late last year from NSW Sport and Recreation to run the event.
Convenor is Yamba businesswoman and newly elected councillor, Debrah Novak who has had links with local rugby league for over 20 years.
Ms Novak said “The aim of the summit is to get everyone talking about the future of league at a grassroots level and what they think it may look like in the future.
The Magpies went into recess last year which was the second time in a decade while other NSW bush clubs have also suffered the same fate and the reasons are the same today as they were 10 years ago, and that is lack of players, money and volunteers to make the sport viable and sustainable.
The summit will provide a think tank and brains trust for a collective conversation with other clubs, players and volunteers across NSW about the survival of grassroots rugby league in their area. We want to discuss big ideas and find solutions that will prepare all our clubs to be fit for the future.
Currently the sport is expected to exist on crumbs and hand outs to survive but we believe it needs a stronger, more flexible framework to operate in otherwise we won’t be relevant for the future needs of our young players” Ms Novak said.
If you can’t attend the summit the club have created an online survey at a dedicated website http://www.grassrootsrugbyleague.com.au.
“Once upon a time rugby league was just a biff and bash sport but it is so much more than that now. The game has matured and the business model needs to reflect that as we move into a new era of technology, community and opportunity.
There is a lot of competition out their for players and sponsors right now and we would like to think our sport and club are providing great leadership in our community. Involving sponsors and players in this conversation demonstrates we have their future clearly in our sights” Ms Novak said.
The summit is on Saturday, February 16 at the Yamba Sports Complex on Angourie Road starting at 9am. The event is free and registrations can be made at http://www.grassrootsrugbyleague.com.au or phone Debrah Novak for more details on 0402 404 606.