Sign-on competition winners Sonny Bill Hape, Tweed Coast Raiders, Kayden DeGroot, Cudgen and Jayden Nicholls, Murwillumbah, will be keen to grab new gear ahead of the upcoming Group 18 JRL season.
Sign-on competition winners Sonny Bill Hape, Tweed Coast Raiders, Kayden DeGroot, Cudgen and Jayden Nicholls, Murwillumbah, will be keen to grab new gear ahead of the upcoming Group 18 JRL season. SCOTT POWICK

Big high-five for junior footy vision

GRASSROOTS rugby league on the Tweed has received a huge boost after an overwhelming response to the proposal of a new five and six year-old Group 18 JRL competition for 2016.

Group 18 JRL, which was losing countless juniors to other sports, put the proposal forward earlier in the year and has now signed 90 five and six year olds for the new competition which will run as a sub-league to the group’s under-7s competition.

Group 18 JRL publicity officer Anna Bourne said the move was crucial to not only attract and retain juniors, but to provide parents with confidence that their kids would now be able to play against others their own age.

“We’ve now had so many parents bring their little ones along to have a go and they’re much more confident in bringing their kids into the sport with the new age group,” Bourne said.

“Previously, we found that we’d have no five to six year-olds as they’d go and play soccer and come to rugby league at seven or eight, but now we can catch them early and get them in and keep them in the sport.

“With the new concept the parents are comforted and they’re really happy to have their kids play and the kids just can’t wait.”

Sonny Bill Hape, Kayden DeGroot and Jayden Nicholls show off their Amart All Sports’ vouchers.
Sonny Bill Hape, Kayden DeGroot and Jayden Nicholls show off their Amart All Sports’ vouchers. SCOTT POWICK

The new age group will be played under the same rules as under-7s, but kids will only play against other teams of the same age.

Bourne said the response had been overwhelming and every club bar one would field at least one team, with the Tweed Coast Raiders to field two.

The Group ran a Facebook competition for all new players who registered before March 1 in the running to win prizes.

A total of 85 players registered before the deadline with winners Jayden Nicholls, Murwillumbah, Kayden DeGroot, Cudgen and Sonny Bill Hape, Raiders, taking home $125, $75 and $50 gift vouchers from Amart All Sports respectively.

The new age group will contest the Conoghan Shield in the lead-up to round one on April 2. Bourne says it’s not too late to register and interested parents could contact their local club.



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