The Penrith branch of Men of League have been helping the rugby league community for many years, now they’re turning their attention to the grassroots level of the game.
Recently, Men of League and Penrith and District Junior Rugby League (PDJRL) struck up a partnership that’ll see the Foundation work more closely with people at our junior clubs.
Men of League Penrith President, Alex McKenzie, said there appeared to be a “disconnect” between junior clubs and the Foundation.
“Many local clubs thought Men of League only supported former NRL players. There was a real disconnect there, and Men of League have identified this and decided to put in place a plan to work more closely together,” he said.
Last week, Mr McKenzie was invited by PDJRL General Manager Phil Cummings to speak at their Annual General Meeting, to explain how they can support grassroots clubs and their members.
“We want the clubs to know that they are the eyes and ears for us at a local level,” Mr McKenzie said.
“We are there for anyone associated with the game who is struggling and needs emotional and financial support.”
With the new junior rugby league season still a few months away, Mr McKenzie said speaking at the AGM was a big step for the local branch, which began in 2015.
“A lot of people have given their lives to rugby league without being associated with NRL clubs,” he said.
“By the time the season kicks off, we’ll have a much closer relationship with PDJRL moving forward.”
Nathan Taylor is the Western Weekender’s award-winning sports journalist. Nathan is also the Weekender’s Deputy Editor.