NSWRL's multicultural Try League headed to south-west

NSW coach Brad Fittler and Multiculturalism minister Ray Williams (centre) at the announcment of the funding.
NSW coach Brad Fittler and Multiculturalism minister Ray Williams (centre) at the announcment of the funding.

NSW Rugby League's Try League pilot program for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities is headed to south-west Sydney.

This week the NSWRL received a $400,000 state government grant over four years to expand CALD Try League to three areas including western Sydney and Coffs Harbour.

While exact locations and dates haven't been announced, the 10-week program is likely to run in school terms two and four, leading into the junior rugby league season and pre-season.

The program was run in 2018 in Blacktown for a mixed gender social inclusion program for under-7 and under-9 ages, where 30 per cent of participants were of Indian descent. They learned to play the game in a fun, non-competitive format.

NSW Rugby League chief executive David Trodden said the program was targeted at breaking down barriers and social isolation for people from diverse communities.

“While State of Origin is the most visible part of the organisation, we are a community-based organisation with more than 100,000 participants playing our game across the state," said Trodden at the announcement on Tuesday at the NSWRL's Centre of Excellence at Sydney Olympic Park.

“This program is designed to make culturally and linguistically diverse sections of our community feel as welcome as they should.”

Multiculturalism minister Ray Williams said the government is committed to the expansion of the Try League program which promotes "social cohesion."

“This funding will encourage greater participation in rugby league by creating a welcoming atmosphere, particularly for people of Indian and Chinese backgrounds," he said.