Regional NSW referees, match officials, coaches and trainers will be able to gain qualifications and expand their knowledge and skills locally as part of a new Country Universities Centre (CUC) and National Rugby League (NRL) collaboration.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Skills John Barilaro was joined by NRL General Manager Tony Archer and CUC CEO Duncan Taylor today at the CUC in Cooma to meet local students, referees and local players and announce a Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations.
“The identity of our regional towns is often built around our sporting clubs. Sport brings communities together, so it is fantastic news that Country Universities Centres will help produce homegrown and highly skilled referees,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The CUC and NRL partnership will boost grassroots rugby league by providing opportunities for new match officials, coaches and trainers to join the game and enable them to gain these qualifications without having to leave their home and families.
“The NSW Government’s $8 million investment in Country Universities Centres provides students undertaking distance university courses with the facilities and academic support they need to excel in their studies, no matter whether they’re studying marine biology, primary school teaching or sports science,” he said.
Mr Archer said the NRL partnership with CUCs would provide match officials with access to world class facilities across multiple regional locations.
“One of the key challenges for the game when it comes to recruiting and keeping officials in regional locations has been the ability to give them education and training facilities,” Mr Archer said.
CUC Chief Executive Officer Duncan Taylor said any person in a regional community has a right to learn and that learning opportunities come in many different forms.
“If a person wants to become the next Tony Archer, we will support them to achieve their goal and if along the way that student also decides they want to become a teacher, we’ll help provide that educational opportunity too,” Mr Taylor said.