St Marys Saints were one of the clubs to play in the "magic round". Credit: Facebook

NSW Rugby League (NSWRL) has acknowledged that licensed clubs provided $100 million in funding to the community and $60 million to junior rugby league clubs in 2023.

Thousands of junior rugby league participants in the state benefit through a range of initiatives including registration and insurance subsidies, shorts and socks rebates, and referees fees.

For instance, Wyong Leagues Group provided $2 million in funding for all rugby league administration, operations, and facilities; as well as $250,000 in funding through subsidies including $100 off registration or $100 reimbursement for players already registered for all Central Coast players aged 5-13.

Meanwhile, Wests Group Macarthur donated $350,000 to the Macarthur Conference Competition, which benefits 23 clubs, more than 500 teams, and more than 5,100 players to assist families with registrations, game day costs, insurance subsidies, shorts and socks rebates and referees fees – this equates to a savings of $60 per junior rugby league participant.

Leagues Clubs Australia CEO Don Hammond said rugby league provides an ideal forum for licensed clubs to assist the community.

“Rugby League teaches important values such as teamwork, respect, and perseverance,” he said.

“Supporting community and junior programs ensures that these values are instilled in young athletes, benefiting both the sport and society as a whole.”

This valuable contribution licensed clubs makes to help thousands of junior rugby league participants in the state was celebrated over the weekend.

Nine “magic round” rugby league games were played across two days on 20-21 April at St Marys Leagues Stadium. A presentation by NSWRL chief executive David Trodden was also given to St Marys Rugby League Club president Warren Smith, who announced his retirement last month after 38 years of service.

NSWRL head of competitions Yvette Downey said plans are now underway to make the “magic round” concept a permanent fixture on the NSWRL calendar as a way to acknowledge licensed clubs round, which is now into its third year.

“The support that Licensed Clubs provides assists Rugby League from grassroots right through to the elite level, and the competitions that were showcased this weekend wouldn’t exist to the level they do without it,” she said.

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