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The NRL today announced a new and exciting early childhood development pilot program targeted at three to five year olds with a focus on positive learning through play.

Munchkin League was unveiled at Runaway Bay in Queensland by NRL CEO Todd Greenberg, with the program introducing young children to invaluable life lessons such as self-confidence and awareness, respect and friendship forming during the early years of development.

Mr Greenberg said the program would incorporate elements of Rugby League, but was not set up as a pathway into the game.

“Munchkin League is about positive learning and helping to play a role in developing young girls and boys to grow up and lead active and healthy lifestyles,” Mr Greenberg said.

“Too often we hear stories relating to childhood obesity and confidence issues amongst young children.  If our game can play a small part in encouraging children to live a happier life and grow up to be confident in their own abilities and bodies, then that is a great outcome for all concerned.”

Munchkin League will initially be rolled out throughout South-East Queensland and is delivered over 8 x 45 minute sessions by qualified experts within Children’s Services fields, with the program incorporating learning and sport together.

League coordinator Debbie Ryan said initial program results had been positive, with the target age-bracket soaking up vital life skills and information.

“Young children are some of the most attuned people to the world around them and Munchkin League will help to identify right from wrong, good from bad and hopefully, encourage greater positive awareness and self-esteem,” Ms Ryan said.

Munchkin League has been operating on the Gold Coast for three months, with additional League courses planned to open throughout South-East Queensland and eventually throughout the country.

To find out more about Munchkin League and to register for Munchkin League to be part of your local Centre or Club, visit

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National 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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