Community rugby league returns to Victoria this weekend!
To mark the occasion, junior and senior players from community rugby league clubs around Melbourne joined NRL CEO, Andrew Abdo, and Storm CEO, Justin Rodski, at AAMI Park on the same day Storm returned home to play for the first time in 321 days.
Meeting with players, parents, volunteers and referees of local rugby league clubs at AAMI Park, Abdo said it has been a long wait for community football to return in Victoria.
“Victoria has been hit particularly hard by COVID over the last two years, but we are hoping to see community footy return without interruption in the season ahead,” Abdo said.
“Sport provides a wonderful connection for our community and whether you are a player, parent, coach, referee or volunteer it brings people together. We can’t wait for the season to kick off next weekend for the senior Storm Premiership competitions.
“It’s great to see so much enthusiasm in the game here in Victoria and the NRL and Commission will be doing all we can to grow the game in the years ahead.” Abdo said.
NRL Victoria and Storm also launched the new brand for all senior community competitions, the ‘Storm Premiership’, to mark the start of the season.
The ‘Storm Premiership’ branding will be used for all senior competitions while ‘Storm Junior League’ – introduced in season 2021 – will be extended to all junior competitions, from Under 6 to Under 18s.
As part of the partnership between Storm and NRL Victoria, every registered participant in Victoria – players, volunteers, coaches and referees – will become members of Storm if they choose to as part of the Club’s commitment to growing the game.
“We know it’s been difficult for some families over the last two years to reconnect with the game,” Rodski said.
“Storm was keen to bring as many people back to the game they love, which is why we have partnered with NRL Victoria to rebrand their local competitions and provide an incentive to be involved”
“It’s been great to have Andrew and his executive team here in Melbourne for our return home, but more importantly to help kick start the season for our community football clubs.
“The great thing about our game is that is can be played by everyone, whether it is a game of touch, tackle or tag. We hope to see as many people as possible back playing, coaching, refereeing or just watching the game as possible.”
With junior competitions due to start after Easter, NRL Victoria will be holding ‘Come and Try’ clinics at every Melbourne club. To register go to www.playrugbyleague.com and enter your postcode to find your local ‘Come and Try’ program.
“There has been a lot of excitement within the rugby league community of Victoria to be able to get back on field this year. Sport is very important in connecting and uplifting our communities and it will be great to see this again in 2022.”
“Melbourne Storm’s commitment to our grassroots players and volunteers, by not only aligning their brand to our competitions but also providing direct connection to their amazing club through the membership offering will provide an enormous boost to our community.”