Sutherland Shire taking the reins in grassroots Rugby League
The Cronulla Junior Rugby League (JRL) season has officially commenced with its Season Launch taking place over the weekend.
On Saturday the 26th of March the Cronulla JRL had its launch for the 2022 season. Unfortunately, the weather was unkind and the Junior Launch at Points Bet Stadium had to be cancelled. However, the Senior Launch, hosted by Anthony Maroon from Triple M Radio and music provided by Steve Hart, was still able to be enjoyed . The night comprising of Junior Club representatives, the Cronulla JRL Board, sponsors and a handful of special guests and speakers well known to the Sutherland shire region such as Carmello Pesce (Sutherland Shire Mayor) and Dino Mezzatesta (Cronulla Sharks CEO), who both gave brief speeches on the optimism of the upcoming 2022 JRL season.
Despite continual disruption in the past two years due to the pandemic both Carmello and Dino touched on the positive growth of Rugby League participation within the Cronulla JRL. Becoming the 2nd largest Junior Rugby League association in NSW in 2021, taking over Parramatta with 5.5k participants, and 396 teams. “A wonderful feat after 2 years of disruption” said Dino, further revealing that, “When I talk to state or federal governments, I am always boasting about the Cronulla JRL competition”...“When we tell them we have passed Parramatta they look at me in amazement.”
With much of this growth coming from the introduction of the girl's league tag, Tim McKay – President of Kurnell Stingrays, mentioned during the night, that League Tag had saved many clubs within the area, “It has made a massive difference to the club, in 2018 we had 8-9 teams and now this year we have 29 sides.”
Paired with the commendable efforts of all volunteers, and the countless hours that they put into the Cronulla JRL competition and their respective clubs, Carmello Pesce presented the huge feat that, “The Sutherland Shire is per capita the biggest volunteer group in the Southern Hemisphere.”
The night repeatedly consisted of the Sutherland Shire's huge community effort towards Rugby League, with big plans of a Cronulla JRL and community hub headquarters being developed in the coming years. Nathan Waugh, Cronulla Junior Rugby League Chairman stated, “With a huge surge of growth, a hub is vital”. Describing it as “an exciting goal for the future”.
Round 1 of Junior Rugby League kicks of this weekend in the Under 6s – Under 12s age groups and all the League Tag divisions. Live Streaming through Bar TV is back again this year so be sure to check our media channels to see which games are being televised. All this, of course, cannot be done without the great support of our great sponsors – Aramex Australia, Zambrero and Sports Medicine Institute.