We don’t need to make club rugby great again, it already is
By Sam Ryan
We’ve heard a lot this year about the resurgence of grassroots rugby in Australia and while it’s great to see it acknowledged, I’m not particularly sure it’s very true.
Yes, funding has been cut over the years and financially clubs have struggled but our core product has never changed.
At the end of the day, it comes down to people playing rugby for the right reasons.
Whether it’s in first grade or fourth grade, at North Sydney or in Narromine, our game will always remain strong as long as we have men, women, boys and girls excited about playing footy on a Saturday and selfless volunteers dedicated to supporting them.
In Sydney, we are smack bang in the middle of the most competitive sporting market in the world and that is always going to create challenges.
Our rivals will continue to pour money into development programs and dwarf our efforts in schools.
But what they can’t do is replicate the culture of a rugby club. There’s nothing quite like it and fortunately that passion and culture is present in rugby clubs right around Australia.
The key, is to expose as many boys and girls to this as possible and that’s where the administration have a crucial role to play in the years ahead.
It’s taken a lot to get us to where we are now but there is no point dwelling on it for any longer. It’s time for positive change and the first step is for the administration to listen to the thousands of volunteers who have been running their clubs successfully for as long as they can remember.
If they open their eyes and ears, we might just have a fighting chance.
Because we don’t need to make club rugby great again, it already is. And if the right people stay involved and are listened to, it always will be.
Photo: AJF Photography