The NRL's new national introductory rugby league program – League Stars – was launched this morning in front of more than 100 primary school kids at events held in both Sydney and Brisbane.
League Stars introduces boys and girls aged five-to-12 to the basic skills of rugby league through non-contact skills sessions held after school and in the holidays.
“League Stars is the fun new Rugby League program that lets every kid find and then play to their strength,” NRL Head of Participation, Pathways and Game Development Luke Ellis said.
“It’s about getting new participants and families involved with rugby league through fun, high energy games that are all play, no contact.
“By introducing League Stars as our new national non-contact skill development program, we’re not only increasing the versions of rugby league we offer, but also the times and places we are offering them.”
The program is already proving successful with more than 76% of 5817 boys and girls who took part in early-sessions being new to rugby league.
League Stars program set to boost rugby league's growth
In developing League Stars, the NRL undertook extensive research, stakeholder feedback and market analysis to best understand the diverse needs of parents and players who are living increasingly busy lives.
Sessions are scheduled for after school and in the holidays, and have been designed to get kids smiling, sweating and having fun with a footy in their hands.
Mr Ellis said League Stars was designed to be both flexible and affordable.
The program costs $49 for four weekly after-school sessions, up-to $99 for eight sessions and are accessible at schools, grassroots clubs, community centres and public spaces.
Participants also receive a League Stars backpack, along with a ball, pump, t-shirt and stickers upon sign up.
NRL and NRLW stars James Tedesco, Isabelle Kelly, Jai Arrow, Meg Ward, Damien Cook and Corbyn McGregor are ambassadors, as well as former NRL stars Johnathan Thurston and Sam Thaiday.
NSWRL CEO David Trodden and QRL Managing Director Rob Moore attended the respective launches in Sydney and Brisbane, along with the NSW Minister for Sport John Sidoti and Queensland Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones.
The NRL also acknowledged the guidance and support of Sport Australia who assisted with the initial design of the program.
To find out more or to register your next League Star, go to www.LeagueStars.com