The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs together with Canterbury League Club are pleased to announce a new registration grant subsidy that will help increase the number of children playing rugby league in 2024 and beyond.
The grant seeks to eliminate barriers for kids to participate in grassroots rugby league in the local area, potentially unlocking the joys of rugby league for thousands of new participants in 2024 and helping young families access and engage in community sports, fostering inclusivity and enhancing the well-being of our local communities.
The approved subsidy grant as fully funded by Canterbury League Club, is set to generously cover registration fees offering up to $100 per child, for children who meet the age criteria ranging from Under 5s to Under 13s within the Canterbury-Bankstown Junior Rugby League district. The initiative aims to invigorate participation in the sport locally and make it accessible to families like never before.
We are especially pleased to be unveiling this subsidy during difficult times with rising interest rates and cost of living pressures. We want families in our local area to be able to access and enjoy the game, and the inherent sense of community that comes with it.
Greg Pickering, Chief Executive Officer of Canterbury League Club, highlighted the deep-rooted commitment shared between the two organisations: "The Canterbury League Club and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have a rich history of community engagement and involvement. By extending free access to Rugby League for children aged five to 13, we believe we are expanding opportunities for our community members, instilling values such as teamwork, leadership, and inclusivity. Simultaneously, this initiative empowers our local, community-run junior League Clubs to grow, thrive and flourish."
John Khoury, Dual Director and Bulldogs Chair emphasised the importance of opportunity and inclusivity in the decision to allocate up to $240,000 in junior league registration subsidies for local families: "As a community Club with an all-encompassing culture, we pride ourselves on extending opportunities for those within our community.
“We are extremely pleased to introduce this joint initiative with Canterbury League Club to sponsor junior league registrations. Our goal is to break down participation barriers in rugby league, cultivate a strong, local talent pool, and contribute to the sport's overall growth. We hope to welcome hundreds more into the Bulldogs family-fold through this initiative and we look forward to collaborating with our 12 junior league Clubs to finalise the structure of this registration grant subsidy in the coming weeks,” he said.
The Canterbury-Bankstown District Junior Rugby League (CBDJRL) covers an expansive area, spanning from Moorebank to Clemton Park in the West, and from Chester Hill and Berala in the North to the Georges River in the South. Established in 1921, the CBDJRL has seen 102 seasons of rugby league and has, since 2010, comprised of 12 clubs including the Bankstown Bulls, Bankstown Sports, Berala Bears, Chester Hill Hornets, East Hills, Greenacre Tigers, Milperra Colts, Moorebank Rams, Revesby Heights Rhinos, St George Dragons, St Christophers and St Johns Eagles.
In 2023, these clubs collectively engaged more than 3,500 participants across 204 teams, ranging from Under 5s to Under 12s (boys and girls), and Under 13s to men's and women's open teams across both tackle and tag competitions. The area's rich cultural diversity brings together players from various backgrounds and religions, uniting them under the sport's banner.
Bulldogs CEO, Aaron Warburton said the registration subsidy was as much about helping support local families as it was helping to grow the game at a grassroots level: "The Bulldogs are a Family Club and by introducing a registration subsidy grant, we are providing families with the opportunity to access a community sport in their local area, and to enrol in rugby league at little to no out-of-pocket expense.
“We are especially pleased to be unveiling this subsidy during difficult times with rising interest rates and cost of living pressures. We want families in our local area to be able to access and enjoy the game, and the inherent sense of community that comes with it. This initiative aligns perfectly with our traditional family values and community-centric identity, and we can’t wait to see more kids taking up the sport through this registration subsidy.”