Incentive to play for Orara

INDIGENOUS players have long been a key ingredient in the success of the Orara Valley Rugby League Club during the modern era.

In both the senior Axemen and junior Tomahawks teams, names like Hart, Donovan and Davis have figured prominently among the most famous players in VB Gold Group 2.

To encourage more indigenous junior players to link up with Orara, a scheme was designed while senior referee David Dunn was finalising details of the association’s sponsorship with publican Marty Phillips at the Coffs Hotel.

“My son Liam has played for a couple of years with the Tomahawks and Marty wanted to do something that would assist kids who wanted to play league,” Dunn said.

“There have always been lots of indigenous kids attracted to the club, so we decided to pick out five kids in the first year and put them on an incentive scholarship.”

No money will be paid to the children. Instead funds will go to their schools to pay various costs associated with their recreational activities, while Sportspower will supply boots, socks and necessary playing gear if needed.

“If this works out like we think it will, Marty would like to extend the scholarships in coming years,” Dunn said.

Long term the Tomahawks have set a goal of expanding until there is a team playing in every age division of Group 2 JRL.

In conjunction with the Coffs Harbour Comets and Sawtell Panthers, Orara will participate in a joint venture registration activity tomorrow, coinciding with the NRL clash between Gold Coast and South Sydney.

Club president David Baird said special incentives would be given to children signing with the club.

“We will have a tent set up on the oval opposite BCU International Stadium car park from 2pm. As well as receiving free entry to the game, any kids who register with Orara will receive a free training shirt,” he said.

“We will be taking shirt sizes at our first training day on Tuesday, March 8.

“Training will be held each Tuesday and Thursday thereafter, from 4pm at Orara High School.

“We will also be doing registrations on training days. The cost is $80 per player.

“To ensure the club’s success, please help as much as you can by spreading the word about finding new players, as we would like to make sure we have enough players for all age groups in 2011.”

Following the clash between the Rabbitohs and Titans, there won’t be much rest for visiting players.

On Sunday, Souths stars Roy Asotasi, Rhys Wesser, Eddie Pettybourne and Ben Ross will head to Smithtown Oval for the Smithtown Tigers sign-on starting at noon.

Next stop is the Smithtown Bowling Club for a game of barefoot bowls, before heading to the Heritage Hotel for a Lower Macleay Magpies function, hosted by Magpies coach and former Souths fullback Shane Wilson.

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