The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is helping kids kick goals across Central North NSW with their support of the Kookaburras junior rugby union team.
The sponsorship of junior zone rugby is now in its second year and funds training courses, development camps, education and playing equipment for the growing club.
Group Executive Hunter Valley Network for ARTC Wayne Johnson said being able to contribute to the community was especially important given the challenges of the COVID-19 restrictions.
“We’re a part of the community so we’re really pleased be able to continue our sponsorship of the Central North Junior Rugby Union (CNJRU) club for another two years, especially during these challenging times, we want to encourage girls and boys to be active and have some fun with their friends and make sure they’ve got access to training and team clothing,’ Mr Johnson said.
Mr Johnson said the sponsorship would help bring players, coaches, referees, parents, volunteers, and fans together and create opportunities for local girls and boys at a grassroots level.
“Through ARTC’s sponsorship the CNJRU can continue its coaching, training and mentoring programs for players as young as six years making rugby accessible in a safe environment across the towns along the rail network.
“Sport plays a vital role in our physical and mental wellbeing, and in local communities volunteers work very hard to provide opportunities for young players to come together, get active and experience some normality during this trying time.”
“Let’s remember that this region has produced some great Australian rugby players – our support may help unearth the next Charlotte Caslick or Sam Payne!”
Zone President Renee Park said that drought and COVID-19 have created uncertainty for the sport and ARTC’s ongoing sponsorship will be an enormous boost for the CNJRU club.
“ARTC’s support means we can subsidise costs such as kids’ uniforms to relieve financial pressures on families, train and educate local coaches and referees, run development training camps for players and gives fans from Narrabri, Tamworth, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Quirindi, Scone, Inverell, Barraba, Walcha, Moree and other outlying communities the benefit of matches in their own backyard.
“In a bumper year of a record 1,505 players taking part in CNJRU, the wonderful staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly to find new ways to help the cherished club games and events to go on.
“This year our registrations, particularly girls, has seen a big increase and we’re all looking forward to seeing community rugby return to normal, and with ARTC’s support we will be ready to build on that momentum after the worst of the pandemic has passed.”
The North West Regional Youth Rugby Grand Final will be held Friday 18 September in Tamworth and upcoming carnivals are Armidale on 20th and Scone on 27th September.
Link to images of players https://www.dropbox.com/sh/gbwjhykn9ojuewp/AABMwmb8Ap_nK7vE6XHp5hmTa?dl=0 and footage of the players https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=825kcZpgqPs:
Media contact: ARTC media team 1300 196 401