We want all our players, whatever their
age or stage of playing career, to be great ambassadors for their club and for their sport. We want the public and fans to know that they can rely on the players they admire to live up
to high standards of behaviour, maturity and integrity. We want our players to be men of character, and we are prepared to do everything we can to help them become great role-models and leaders.
We welcome players from all backgrounds and while we cannot guarantee some of these players will not make mistakes, we will do all that we can to make them better men.
These programs include education ambassadors at every club, player advisory groups and cultural empowerment and leadership camps. Their aim is to provide existing leaders with the opportunity and the skills to drive positive, ongoing change throughout the game. We also aim to strengthen every player's leadership skills and their ability to implement this positive change. The programs help
us to identify and work with cultural challenges around player education and welfare. And, as they grow and learn, we want our players to realise how leadership skills can translate to every other area of their life: personal, community and career.
The leadership programs help all our players understand, respect and celebrate the cultural diversity that enriches Rugby League. We hope that our young players will go on to lead positive change, not only in the game we all love and in their own lives, but also in society as a whole.
Rugby League reflects Australian society as a whole
and reflects how it changes. As a result, we have created a Players Advisory Group in addition to an Indigenous Players Advisory Group. Both groups are active participants in planning and implementing programs for players across the game.
Over the last two years, the NRL has held camps for Indigenous players run by Dean Widders, for players run by Nigel Vagana and for country players run by Andrew Ryan. The camps are designed to help young players with issues around relocation, like missing their family and friends, and help them build their teamwork and leadership skills.
This camp is compulsory for every player in the National Youth Competition. It is a three day camp and introduces the young players to the NRL values. These are Excellence, Inclusiveness, Courage and Teamwork.
The camp includes extensive training in media, cultural awareness, drugs and alcohol, social media, money management, social responsibility, respectful relationships and personal presentation.
Each session is delivered by experts and co-facilitated by
a current or former NRL player so they can share their experiences and model the behaviour and character that is expected of modern Rugby League players.
High Schools Program
Commencing in 2013, high schools participating in the elite Rugby League schools' competition have been able to engage in a range of education modules for their senior players. These modules include sessions on:
- Career Education
- Personal Brand
- Cultural Awareness
- Anti-Doping Education, and
- Addressing Violence in Our Community.
NRL clubs are prominent in the delivery of these modules to high schools in their area.
Social Responsibility Program
The NRL's alcohol management strategy was developed with the help of the Australian Drug Foundation.
It ensures a whole of game approach to responsible drinking, from the grassroots clubs through to the NRL. The NRL has become the first professional sporting organisation to receive the GOOD SPORTS accreditation in Australia.
The NRL's Respectful Relationships program is recognised as the most progressive in sport in Australia. It is based around making decisions using an ethical framework model. This is not limited to relationships with women, but includes people of different race, religion, sexuality or colour. The program is based on research and is regularly evaluated by independent experts.
Illicit Drugs Education
With the support of the Federal Government Illicit Drugs in Sport campaign all players and officials from all representative teams, from the U15s and up, take part
in drug education workshops. The aim of the program is to give young men – and other staff – the tools they need to avoid the temptation to indulge in either illicit
or performance enhancing substances.