Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) Government has allocated A$50 million in funding to seven rugby leagues clubs to help finance NRL Centres of Excellence.
Centres of Excellence were identified as an important part of the Stadia Strategy in 2012 to maintain the link between high performance sport and community engagement.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg believes the NSW Government’s multimillion-dollar injection into centres of excellence will help rugby league reach its goal of delivering world-class facilities.
The Newcastle Knights, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Cronulla Sharks, Sydney Roosters, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Wests Tigers have welcomed the government’s commitment to provide funding for development at club bases.
All grants from the government will be matched through private investments or local or federal government grants.
Greenberg said the new centres of excellence would make a difference in local communities. He said:
We want people playing sport and the best way to do that is to provide world class facilities where people can seek to improve their skills, and that is exactly what this funding will deliver.
Five clubs have been approved for funding:
- Canterbury Bulldogs – A$2 million
- Newcastle Knights – A$10 million
- South Sydney Rabbitohs – A$8.696 million
- Sydney Roosters – A$5.765 million
- Cronulla Sharks – A$8 million
Funding reservations have been made for two more clubs while they further develop their Centre of Excellence proposals with the Office of Sport.
These are the Manly Sea Eagles, who will receive up to A$10 million for a Centre of Excellence at Brookvale and the Wests Tigers, who will receive A$5.5 million for Stage One of their Centre of Excellence.
Announcing the funding, NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the development of these new centres will provide multi-purpose facilities that offer promising young athletes and high performance athletes with world-class training and development in their local area. He said:
They also provide NRL Clubs an opportunity to maintain a strong presence in traditional communities as the Government prioritises capital investment into a targeted number of NSW Government venues.
Image: The South Sydney Rabbitohs’ planned Centre of Excellence at Maroubra’s Heffron Park