Hi… my name is Paul Broughton OAM and I played my first game of rugby league when I was just eight years of age. It was for Rockdale Primary against Mortdale Primary, and now 80 years on I have enjoyed a very fortunate life, one that continues to be challenged by an enigmatic game that discriminates against no-one. Fortunate? Well, I have been able to influence change at different times in my role that spans over a decade with the New South Wales Rugby League. I believe that you share the same feelings for the game.
Market optimism, from playing fields to boardrooms, is immediately reflected whenever Expansion is the topic. So this blog is specifically about the Athlete and Rugby League. It addresses in four parts firstly the impact of a Demographics in Australia, then participation and inclusiveness. It asks the question about why the four southern states produce zero NRL players… how talent ID on an international scale is not rocket science.
This Blog is not about player development, as I believe that is solely the role of the NRL clubs and their HP staff and coaches. It is raising the huge issue of the impact of changing demographics in Australia. The impact on rugby league and its future if we overlook the seven million Australians who were not born here, plus their first generation, who in the main do not follow, watch, read about, view, nor of course play.
We urgently need a China/Asia Rugby League Community Strategy, or we will be doing this wonderful game a great disservice.
It is now 22 years since the Super League war, and 11 years since the last club was admitted. Expansion cannot occur without growth, and growth drives expansion. I hope you find my philosophy is in synch with yours and want to submit a strategy for this continuing conversation.