ANNUAL REPORT 2009
by Phil Beecher, Secretary
2009 was once again a very successful year for the Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League both domestically and internationally. Although the year began with the loss of one of our sponsors, the newly formed Player Agents Association agreed to support he ASSRL and helped ease the financial pressures through a successful fundraising luncheon. The Executive of the ASSRL see this as the beginning of a highly successful relationship that will be further developed over the coming years. A special thank you to President Steve Gillis for this great initiative and his organisation’s support for the future stars of the game.
The Australian Schoolboys Team performed well and convincingly defeated the touring Great Britain Community Lions in a two Test series.
First Test Canberra Stadium Canberra v Community Lions 66 - 0
Second Test St Marys Stadium St Marys v Community Lions 60 -18
This team set itself high standards both on and off the field receiving accolades for their demeanor from accommodation venues, Clubs and their opposition. They were a credit to the Australian Schoolboys and the team officials.
The success of this year’s Australia International Series was a product of the great support that the ASSRLC received from the senior Rugby League family. The first Test in Canberra was the ACTEW Capital Challenge Cup and was well supported by the NRL Club, the Canberra Raiders. This was the first time the Australian Schoolboys had played in the national capital and was played as the curtain raiser for the Canberra Raiders vs St George Illawarra Dragons. The ACTSRL convenor Phill Dodd did a fantastic job in ensuring that the visit was a success and was well supported by the Canberra Raiders and, in particular, CEO Don Furner. The outstanding support for the international was further highlighted by the pre match dinner which was attended by both Geoff Carr and John Coates representing the ARL. Canberra Raiders and ex Australian schoolboys, Alan Tongue and Joel Monaghan, spoke to the audience and highlighted their memories of their experiences as an Australian schoolboy and in their own careers. On the eve of their match against the Dragons this was an outstanding effort and well appreciated by all involved.
The next match in the Australia International Series was hosted by the St Marys Leagues Club. The support given to the Australian Schoolboys and our international visitors was outstanding. The concluding dinner provided a very fitting finale to the tour and was a very entertaining evening for all involved. To Mr Warren Smith, Chairman, Deputy Chairman Gary Sullivan and the supportive Board of Directors and staff at St Marys Leagues we once again extend our sincerest appreciation.
In order to select the above-mentioned team there was another highlight for the year in the outstanding 18 Years Australian Championships, hosted by the NSW Combined Independent Schools. The quality of the selected team was only matched by the quality of the performance of the teams which participated. This event was a credit to Gareth Hawgood, Zane Osborn and his very supportive team of volunteers. The Newcastle Knights also played a significant role in the Championships and a special thank you for allowing the Finals Day to be played on Energy Australia Stadium. Warren Smiles, Newcastle Knights Football Manager, and Michael McEntyre, Welfare Manager, provided unstinting support for the Championships and ensured the success of the week. The preliminary games were played at the Gardens Sporting Complex and a special thank you to Grant Kennedy, Operations Manager, for his ongoing support.
Pool A Champions Queensland Secondary Schools Rugby League
Pool B Champions Victoria
The 15 Years Australian Championships was another highlight held at Hindmarsh Stadium and hosted by South Australian Rugby League. To Dave Cohen, Huntley Armstrong and the organizing committee we say thanks for your professional organisation and hosting such a successful event.
Pool A Champions Queensland Secondary Schools Rugby League
Pool B Champions Northern Territory
Another highlight this year will be the bestowing of Life Membership of the ASSRLC to Bruce Wallace and Phil Schaeffer.
Bruce Wallace has been an outstanding and long serving member of the Australian Secondary Schools Rugby League. He has successfully coached national champions at both the 18 Years and 15 Years Championships as a NSWCHS representative, coached the Australian Schoolboys from 1993 to 1994, represented the ASSRL at both international and national forums and has been President of the ASSRL since 1996. He is truly deserving of Life Membership.
Phil has been the driving force for the fledgling NSW Combined Independent Schools since its inception to the Australian secondary schools in 1996. Phil has been a coach of NSWCIS teams, an Australian selector, and convened two national championships and has ensured that the NSWCIS body has grown to be a Pool A participant providing opportunities for boys to play rugby league at the highest level through the Independent Schools body. He is a most deserved recipient of Life Membership.
The ASSRLC would also like to acknowledge the contribution of Mr Paul Osborne through his work as the Operations Manager of the NRL Agents Accreditation Scheme. His commitment to the ensuring that the players of the future are protected was unstinting and his support for the ASSRL was greatly appreciated. The Executive of the ASSRL wish him all the best in his new role as CEO of the Parramatta Eels.
The ASSRLC is fortunate to have a few loyal, long term sponsors and we wish to pass on the due recognition they deserve. Mr Tony Magnus, Managing Director, Classic Sportswear for his company’s ongoing support and personally for his genuine enthusiasm for our ongoing program at both the national and international levels. Appreciation is also extended to the Australian Training Company and Mr Jim Whiteside, Director, for his company’s long term and continued support of the 18 Years, Player of the Final award.
The ASSRL programs are a part of the ARL system and we are most fortunate to have the support of the ARL Board and their Chairman, Mr Colin Love and the Chief Executive, Mr Geoff Carr. The programs of the ASSRL are the ‘flagships’ of elite junior Rugby League development and we are grateful that Geoff avails himself to all of our major events where possible. Mr Bill Palmer, Manager ARL Development, Mr Steve Palin, Operations Manager, ARLD are integral supporters of the ASSRL.
Two very special people who are integral to the operation of the ASSRLC are Mr John Coates, Chief Operating Officer of the ARL and Life Member of the ASSRLC and, Mr Paul Walker, Communications Manager, ARL Development. These two gentlemen continue to provide ongoing support for the ASSRL and ensure the ASSRL is kept at the forefront of elite junior development.
Gratitude is also extended to Mr Ken Rogers, President, School Sport Australia for his attendance and participation in the official events of the ASSRLC. Steve Kalend, School Sport Australia executive Officer, also showed his support for our programs through his attendance at the pre match dinner prior to the Canberra International and the game at Canberra Stadium.
This year’s international program required the support of a number of particular groups. Firstly appreciation is extended to the Affiliated States who were able to host the Great Britain Community Lions. A special thank you to Gary Launt (Northern Territory Rugby League), Bill Nosworthy (Western Australian Rugby League) and Huntley Armstrong, (South Australian Rugby League), and their teams of volunteers for hosting and supporting the Great Britain team. Also to Cronulla Sharks, Board Member Paul Walker and Recruitment Manager Craig Wilson, and NSWCHS, David Whittock and Grant Edwards, for their coordination of the international match between the Great Britain team and the NSWCHS Development Squad played at Shark Park.
Next year’s program includes the 18 Years Australian Championships in Burleigh hosted by the Queensland Secondary Schools (11th July – 16th July). The 15 Years Championship in Canberra will be hosted by ACT Schools Rugby League (27th June – 2nd July).
The international program will see the Australian Schoolboys return to England and France to defend its World Youth Championships against the England Academy and French National teams.
The program this year has been very busy and a great deal of support has been afforded to the ASSRL by many and varied groups whose input has been invaluable to what has been a stand out year for the ASSRLC Inc. To anyone who contributed in any way to this year’s program we are eternally grateful.