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Western Sydney ambassadors Nathan Hindmarsh, Luke Lewis and Joel Reddy have today launched a partnership between the NSWRL Western Sydney Community and Game Development Unit and the nation’s leading energy retailer, Origin, that will grow junior participation, establish new clubs and increase the number of Indigenous and multicultural coaches in one of Rugby League’s heartland communities.

The partnership was unveiled at Caddies Creek Public School in Glenwood with Eels star Hindmarsh, the NSWRL Development Unit Ambassador, joining Lewis (Panthers), Reddy (Wests Tigers), NRL Welfare and Education Officer and former Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan and students who will be among the thousands across Western Sydney to benefit from the exciting new union.

“To gain the support of the nation’s leading energy retailer is a massive show of support for the game of Rugby League in Western Sydney,” said Hindmarsh.

“Through Origin’s investment, the Unit has already been able to proceed with several important initiatives which are central to the continued growth of the game in the region, including the extended roll out of a junior program that I have helped develop and am very passionate about.”

New initiatives that will be undertaken in 2012 as a result of investment from Origin include:

- Extended roll out of Nathan Hindmarsh’s junior development program – Hindy’s Primary Challenge – which encourages schools to participate in competitive Rugby League whilst also delivering positive health and well-being messages.

- A partnership with Aboriginal Medical Services to engage in a healthy lifestyle program involving physical and healthy lifestyle education to Indigenous children and adults in the community.

- A tree planting program in partnership with Greening Australia, Local Government Associations and Junior Rugby League Clubs across Western Sydney.

“Rugby League is such an integral part of the community in Western Sydney and Origin is delighted to assist the Unit to ensure that more children from all backgrounds are able to participate in one of Australia’s favourite games,” said John Huggart, Energy Markets, Origin.

“Additionally, we are looking beyond the football field with this partnership and undertaking a number of initiatives with the Unit that aim to help children in the community and teach them about diversity, commitment and participation.”
Origin’s sponsorship has already assisted with:

- The development of a Senior Community Group of four senior players from the four Western Sydney NRL clubs to assist with game promotion and development. Part of their role has been a recruitment advertising campaign within the four Rugby League Districts, namely Parramatta, Penrith, Canterbury-Bankstown and Wests Tigers territory in Liverpool and Campbelltown.

- The establishment of the Origin Shield Under 10-years All Schools Carnival.

- Enabling the Unit to purchase critical First Aid supplies and online coaching education systems for 85 Junior Rugby League Clubs in the region.

Origin’s sponsorship also includes naming rights of a number of local events and carnivals including the Origin NSW All Schools Knock Out (August 2012) and the Origin Harmony Cup Multicultural tournament (October 2012).

“We are honoured to have a company like Origin join our corporate family,” said NSWRL General Manager, Mr Geoff Carr.

“The NSW Rugby League has put considerable time and resources into our Western Sydney Academy and we are happy a reputable company like Origin shares our vision.

“Partnerships like this one will help further strengthen Rugby League’s place as the premier sporting code not only in Western Sydney, but in the state of New South Wales.”

About Origin Energy
Origin Energy (ASX: ORG) is the leading Australian integrated energy company focused on gas and oil exploration and production, power generation and energy retailing. A member of  the S&P/ASX 20 index, the company has around 5,600 employees and is a leading producer of gas in eastern Australia. Origin is Australia’s largest energy retailer servicing 4.4 million electricity, natural gas and LPG customer accounts and has one of the country’s largest and most flexible generation portfolios with more than 5,310 MW of capacity, through either owned generation or contracted rights. Origin’s strategic positioning and portfolio of assets provide flexibility, stability and significant opportunities for growth across the energy industry. Through Australia Pacific LNG, its incorporated joint venture with ConocoPhillips and Sinopec, Origin is developing one of Australia’s largest CSG to LNG projects based on Australia’s largest 2P CSG reserves base.

In New Zealand, Origin is the major shareholder in Contact Energy, the country's leading integrated energy company, operating geothermal, thermal and hydro generation facilities and servicing electricity, gas and LPG customers across both the North and South islands. Origin also operates several oil and gas projects in New Zealand and is one of the largest holders of petroleum exploration acreage in the country.

Origin has a strong focus on ensuring the sustainability of its operations, is the largest green energy retailer in Australia and has significant investments in renewable energy technologies.

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