On behalf of the Wests (Brisbane) Junior Rugby League Football Club Committee, I would like to welcome you to the 2022 season.

2021 saw another year of growth at Wests Brisbane JRL. We again managed to field teams in the U6s, U7s (two teams), Under 8s (three teams), Under 9s (three teams), Under 10s (three teams), Under 11s (two teams), together with an U12s, 13s, 14s, 15s and Opens. All of the older age groups had an increase in player numbers and moving forward thought needs to be given to either cap numbers or preferably combining age groups to help facilitate this growth. While we don’t ever want to turn kids away, carrying large squads can be problematic.

 

The draw from RLB, while providing more ‘home’ days than we had away for our Under 6s-12s, our older age groups were predominantly home and away and out of step with the younger age groups. This effectively meant Purtell Park was hosting games every weekend. Having 12 games set for Sundays also presented logistical issues with parking, etc. and considering the impact on our neighbours, steps were taken to spread games across the Friday, Saturday (Opens) and Sunday.

 

Friday nights were very well received and lead to an increase in bar and canteen sales and will be hopefully, draw permitting, continue for 2022. Personally, I believe RLB needs to do more to bring the U13 ages and up in line with the rest of the club as some weeks the U6-12s were away, and we only had one or two teams at home in these older age groups.

 

I also strongly believe RLB needs to help support clubs in encouraging parents to volunteer and act as duty officials on home days. Overall, the behaviour of our parents and importantly our players was very good. However, after news and media regarding some unsavoury incidents at other clubs throughout the year, there was a hesitancy of parents volunteering as duty officials.

 

As a result of this continued growth and to provide more flexibility for training, a decision was made to end our field hire agreement with Premier Touch for 2022.

While this may seem like a cut in revenue streams we are already engaging with more flexible groups and may in fact lead to an increase in revenue while allowing us to be able to offer training nights across the week.

 

Our on-field performance was very good with all teams experiencing winning seasons. Our Under 15s won the Div 2 Minor Premiership and Grand Final. It is worth noting RLB did not have final series for Div 2 in the U14 and U13 age groups, instead going with a Gala Day format.

 

 

 

Wests Juniors players also had some noteworthy individual honours with Angus Hinchey progressing to the Norths Devils Mal Meninga Cup squad. Jasper Giaroli and Healy Beresford making the 2022 Easts Tigers Hastings Deering Colts squad and U15 players Sam Hyne and Flynn Madders being selected for the Norths Devils Cyril Connell Cup squad for 2022. For a club playing predominantly playing in Div 2 competitions, and no set affiliation as a feeder club, this is a great result and the club is extremely proud of these boys.

 

Off field we started the year with our first season launch hosted by club sponsor, The Caxton Hotel. This was a very enjoyable night with a great crowd and fantastic speakers. However, I believe it deserved to be better supported and we need to become better at engaging with our club members and a more inclusive community feel. The reintroduction of the Thursday night BBQ has gone a long way in fostering this.

 

Our major event, The Wests Long Lunch, was extremely successful, and all involved should be extremely proud of what was achieved. Both events will become annual, and the club will work together with our sponsors and representatives of our younger ages to develop more events that will hopefully connect with and bring all our families from U6s to Opens together.

 

Building work commenced on our new Clubhouse with completion hopefully in time for kick off for season 2022. This, together with a lighting upgrade and new scoreboard, will see the bottom field once again become our main oval.

 

I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the work and time Marco Giaroli has invested in this project. Without him this simply would not happen and to formally recognise and thank everyone for the extremely generous donations to our club to help this come to fruition. This facility will help us provide first class facilities and encourage more growth into the future. However, due to an increase in costs, important discussions will need to take place regarding the funding of this project. As a club we will need to work harder to raise funds to see this vision come to light.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year the club made the decision to hold over jerseys and to extend our sponsors for a season as an act of good will considering the economic climate at the time due to Covid. Thankfully, our members were understanding and supportive of the committee’s decision and all of our sponsors have returned for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. As well as the addition of Rino Recycling and Steggels Chicken, these agreements will drastically help the club fund new playing and training kits as well as upgraded equipment for the next two years. In 2021 we need to do more as a club to promote and support our sponsors as much as possible.

 

Looking forward to 2022, we have secured sponsors for the next two seasons and can now turn our attention to the Clubhouse build and placing more focus on coaching and development. We are happy to announce an agreement with the Brisbane Broncos, backed by the Broncos Leagues Club, to help us develop our club culture and identity and to provide our volunteer coaches more tools and guidance to assist them with this very important role.

 

In closing, I would like to sincerely thank the Committee for all the hard work each person puts into ensuring our club not only operated through 2021 but continues to grow into the future. I would also like to personally thank all our Coaches, Managers, Leaguesafes, Sports Trainers, Referees, Touch Judges and the many other volunteers needed to make our club function. But most importantly I would like to thank our players and families for making, what was at times an overwhelming and stressful season, worth every effort.

 

Gareth Pritchard

Club President

W.J.R.L.F.C.

PRESIDENT'S WELCOME

Letter from the Club President 

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