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Buzz : Bush left out in cold

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Monday Buzz: Bush left out in cold by failing to help fund Tackling Violence Knockout tournament


    THE NRL launched its season over the weekend by handing out $2.25 million in prize money at the Auckland Nines.

    The Cowboys won the tournament, it sold out both days, Shaun Johnson showed off his extraordinary skills and everyone agreed it was an absolutely super weekend of footy.

    Closer to home in rugby league heartland it was a different and more disturbing story. A story of how the NRL has inexplicably turned its back on country football and a campaign against domestic violence.

    Ten of the code’s great bush clubs will compete in the Tackling Violence Knockout in Moree on March 15.

    Last year the NRL provided $3000 to support this great initiative. This year … nothing. Not a penny.

    Organisers were told the money just wasn’t available. Not even a lousy three grand.

    At the same time clubs at the Nines got more than $100,000 each just for turning up. Private promoter Dean Lonergan got millions.

    And this is the game that allows its senior officials to travel in limousines, fly first class around the world and stay in five-star hotels.

    The game that made a $49 million profit last year thanks to the television deal.

    Yet they are too miserly to stump up the cash for this wonderful project.

    Clubs travel hundreds of kilometres to play. From Bourke, Walgett, Warren, Wilcannia, Narrabri, Cowra and the Northern Rivers.

    The drought means there is little or no money in these towns for sponsorship. But they all turn up to support and raise awareness for a problem the NRL should be all over.

    Think Ben Barba and think the bloody photo that emerged last year of his beaten partner Ainslie Currie. Think Robert Lui and the horrific detail of his court cases two years ago.

    And to think that 19 of the top 20 areas for domestic violence in this state are in regional areas where these footy players come from and proudly represent.

    It’s why Moree Boomerangs president Mitchell Johnson is so passionate about the tournament and so disappointed the NRL has turned him away.

    “It’s pretty bloody ordinary,” Johnson said, “Here’s a game that just got a $1 billion TV deal yet can’t give $3000 to us. All these clubs are participating to take a stance against domestic violence yet there’s no help from Sydney.”

    To compete, every player has to sign a 12-month code of conduct.

    Last year a good portion of the NRL’s $3000 grant to the tournament was handed over to a charity that supports victims of domestic violence.

    The rest went towards prize money and expenses.

    In fairness, the NRL is normally mindful and proactive on issues relating to women, equality, bullying and violence.

    We have the Women in League round with the big end of town, the politicians, the flash functions and the TV cameras.

    Clubs are far more focused these days on respect for women and the crucial roles they play in all areas of the game.

    From the mums who wash jerseys to the Saturday morning volunteers and inside the boardrooms of an increasing number of NRL clubs.

    Still, this is another example of the code’s apathy toward bush football and the very lifeblood of the game.

    Only two trial matches and a meaningless and outdated City-Country game will be played in the bush this winter.

    “I think a lot of people in country rugby league are wondering if the NRL even cares about us,” Johnson said.

    “There doesn’t seem to be too much support for rugby league clubs outside of the major cities.”

    This great tournament will go ahead next month with or without NRL support. Country folk don’t give up that easily. Moree council and the local police have stepped up and ¬offered financial support.

    But it’s not too late for Dave Smith and the NRL to realise they’ve made a big mistake.

    A cheque for $3000 should be on its way from Moore Park to Moree by the close of business today.

    My comment to him

    Normally most of the stuff you write is rubbish but this time you nailed it
    Grass roots rugby league is dying and needs help from the top
    Time for the NRL to step up and make some budget cuts
  2. HappilyManly

    HappilyManly MWTS Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +19,029 /367
    I think that each NRL Club should 'adopt' a specific CRL Group and have them come/visit with them to share training, trials etc.

    The Winner of the CRL Group in each state should be invited to the Nines - if it is to expand next year :idea:

    Imagine how motivated the Country Players would be, to be playing for a potential spot in a World televised Competition :)
  3. Daddycool08

    Daddycool08 Well-Known Member

    +372 /4
    I've asked it before and I'll ask it again?

    Is the NRL a professional outfit with a good marketing branch or is it run by well-meaning amateurs?

    I continue to see such articles and fail to see anything positive about the NRL. I ask why?

    At the very least the NRL doesn't seem to be able to promote itself or at worst there may be a case of cleaning out the deadwood.

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