Seahorses score with Wyong Leagues Group

Wyong Leagues Group’s Ryan Hopkins, Woolgoolga Seniors President Gavin Hann, Woolgoolga Seniors players Brodie Gentles and Renee Hopwood, player/coach John Mitchell, Woolgoolga Seniors Vice President David Riley, Woolgoolga Diggers Club Manager Glenn Buckley, Woolgoolga Juniors Secretary Monique Byrne, Woolgoolga Junior players Dasher Mitchell and Billy Byrne and Woolgoolga Juniors President Simon Dawe.

NOT a moment of doubt clouded the mind of the Woolgoolga Rugby League committee when Wyong Leagues Group (WLG) proposed that the Seahorses join them as an in-house club.

This major development for local sport sees Woolgoolga Junior and Senior Rugby League Clubs, the Seahorses, officially agree to become part of the WLG.

Since the WLG amalgamated with Woolgoolga Diggers and Safety Beach Golf Club in 2021, there has been a strong alignment between the Seahorses and the Group.

This relationship has been a very positive one for all parties and it is believed that this latest move is part of a natural evolution that will result in a stronger and brighter future for rugby league throughout the district.

Woolgoolga Rugby League President Gavin Hann told News Of The Area, “When Ryan (Ryan Hopkins, WLG) first approached us (Seahorses) after meetings with Wyong’s management about the idea of becoming an in-house club of the Wyong Leagues Group, there was not a moment in our committee’s mind not seeing that our little football world was about to change.

“After the first few years of Wyong being our major sponsor, we had already seen so much change in the level of professionalism and experience naturally flowing through, helping us achieve what we had previously only dreamt of.

“The future for both us and the juniors has no limits with the guidance and backing of this massively successful group.

“The Juniors Subsidy initiative shows these guys are here for the right reasons and we, in return, would like to do them and Woopi proud.

“2024 we hope to be bigger and better on the field, and off it,” he said.

Some very positive initiatives are planned, including the provision of more coaching and administrative support as well as further strengthening the ties with a very well-established Rugby League operation in the Wyong Roos who were founded in 1910.

One new ‘tradition’ will be an annual friendly match played between the Wyong Roos and the Seahorses in the pre-season, allowing both groups of players to showcase their early form and share their experiences.

Wyong Leagues Group CEO Ben Coghlan said, “Our origins are as a rugby league club, so it is particularly satisfying to be able to bring another Club into the fold and ensure we continue to grow our great game across the state.

“We have been directly involved with the teams since arriving in Woolgoolga from day one, so we were thrilled to see the Seahorses capture their first Group 2 premiership in 54 years in 2023.”

The Juniors Subsidy Program, being extended to the Seahorses, means the families registering players in Woolgoolga Juniors U5 – U13s will receive a $100 subsidy for each child registered to play for Woolgoolga.

The Group has taken the view that if registration fees are the difference between a child getting to play rugby league or not, then it had to act.

“For the future health of the sport in the community we must do all we can to encourage participation at the junior level,” Ben Coghlan added.

“We know that plenty of families are finding it tough right now and with so many feeling the pinch, we believe, as a major player in rugby league, that we should do all we can to remove barriers for involvement.

“The benefits to this community of kids participation in team sport are way too important for us to ignore.”


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