NRL Chief Executive, Mr Dave Smith, tonight joined with the Premier of Queensland, the Hon. Campbell Newman, and Co-Chairs Mr Vaughan Johnson and Mr Curtis Pitt to launch the Queensland Parliament’s first ever Friends of Rugby League group.
The group is being supported by the NRL as part of its commitment to working more closely with local members to use the profile and reach of Rugby League to share important social and community messages across Queensland.
“Rugby League brings people together and enriches their lives,” Mr Smith said.
“By working more closely with community leaders such as MPs we can deliver improved, better coordinated outcomes for participants, fans and those involved in Rugby League One Community programs.
“Formalising partnerships with our parliamentary representatives also shows we are clear about growing as a game and as an organisation in a way that is inclusive and based on open dialogue.”
Mr Newman said: “My Government has demonstrated its commitment to boosting participation in junior sports through our flagship $47 million ‘Get in the Game’ initiative.
“We look forward to a long and successful partnership with the NRL to boost participation in Rugby League.
“In doing so, we believe we can build stronger communities and encourage greater health and wellbeing among Queenslanders.”
Mr Johnson said he was proud to be the first Co-Chair of the Queensland Parliamentary Friends of Rugby League group.
“I’m looking forward to better connecting with the Rugby League activities in local and regional communities,” he said.
“This group is not just about supporting Rugby League at major events; it's about promoting the value of programs such as Learn Earn Legend! and growing the game at grassroots level across Queensland.
“This group brings parliamentarians from both sides together and I am very pleased that we now have a partnership with the National Rugby League.”
Mr Pitt said Rugby League was a game that brings people of all walks of life together and one which provides significant opportunities for social inclusion.
“Rugby League is the heart and soul of many local communities, in particular many Indigenous communities, and through the Friends of Rugby League group we want to listen to the issues that matter and ensure that everyone has a strong voice in the game,” Mr Pitt said.