JUNIOR rugby league in the Group 2 Beautizone region is on the march.
Clubs participating in the competition between Woolgoolga and Kempsey have commenced the biggest player recruitment drive ever undertaken, with youngsters from Under 6s to Under 16s encouraged to play the 'greatest game of all'.
ARL development officer Jay Sakaio said rugby league wasn't just restricted to boys with the participation of girls under 12 years a growing facet of the game.
“The emphasis is now on the kids having a fun experience, playing sport in a safe environment and learning social skills that will stay with them for life,” he said.
“Being competitive comes naturally to them as they get older but we like to encourage their enjoyment of the game from the time they first take part.”
Individual clubs have commenced a series of sign-on days across the region.
But a controversial decision not to include a junior match at the NRL trial between South Sydney and Penrith was the catalyst for club officials to create the Imperial Sportspower Gala Registration Day, starting this Saturday from 10.00am at Advocate Park.
Visiting Penrith Panthers Trent Waterhouse, Michael Gordon, Adam Woolnough and Luke Lewis have answered the call and will be at the ground to sign autographs, meet the young players, give away lots of free stuff and assist with footy games and competitions.
Rides, a jumping castle and face painting will all be set up and players who sign on the day are eligible to win an NRL footy jumper.
“We invite players wishing to join the Coffs Harbour, Sawtell and Orara Valley clubs to sign up but if you are visiting from another area, a special information booth will be available,” Sakaio said.
“If you wish to sign with another Group 2 club or are visiting from outside the region, we'll take contact details and pass them on to the club you wish to play for. Even kids who haven't played rugby league before can come along and we'll answer all your questions.”
HOW TO PLAY JUNIOR RUGBY LEAGUE
(Both girls and boys welcome)
Just turn up at Advocate Park in Coffs Harbour this Saturday from 10am to sign on with Coffs Harbour, Sawtell or Orara Valley clubs, or, leave your details if you wish to play with another club and these will be passed on.
Also, you're welcome to attend the sign on day organised by your favourite footy club.
Head to Connell Park, Bellingen, from 3.30pm today - Dorrigo Rec Ground between 10am-12noon next Saturday - then back at Connell Park from 3.30pm on Thursday, February 19.
Be at the combined registration and golf day at Bowraville Recreation Club on Sunday, March 1 from 9am.
Coffs Harbour Comets
Sign on at Advocate Park this Saturday from 10am.
Meet at the clubhouse on Verge Street Oval, West Kempsey, at 4pm today or February 19 or 26.
Nambucca Heads Roosters
Attend EJ Biffin Field tomorrow between 4.30-5.30pm, then each Tuesday/Thursday, same time and venue.
Orara Valley Tomahawks
Get to Advocate Park on Saturday, or Coramba Coliseum on Saturday, February 21 from 3-5pm.
If not at Advocate Park on Saturday, be at Rex Hardaker Oval on February 21 (11am-1pm) or Amart All Sports on March 5 (6-7.30pm).
Get down to Smithtown Oval between 1-3pm each Sunday, February 15 and 22.
Go to Centennial Oval, Woolgoolga, this Saturday, 9am-1pm.