The goal of the Titans to make rugby league “the greatest game for all” in the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers region has been backed by the federal Labor Party, with a commitment of $500,000 in funding to widen inclusivity and participation in the area under a Labor Government.
A Labor Government will deliver a $500,000 investment for the Titans to upgrade existing infrastructure and provide specialised coaching, education and training facilities for female players and the club’s Physical Disabilities Rugby League team.
The funding promise announced today at the Titans High Performance Centre at Parkwood by Labor Senator for Queensland Murray Watt and Labor candidate for Fadden Luz Stanton, on behalf of Federal Shadow Minister for Sport Don Farrell.
Also in attendance for the announcement were Titans Executive Chairman Dennis Watt, Chief Executive Steve Mitchell, club captain Ryan James, and women’s rugby league players Akayla McQuire (Burleigh Bears) and Olivia Attenborough-Doyle (Tweed Seagulls).
They were joined by Titans Touch Football Women’s team coach Renee Murphy, Titans PDRL player Terry Litton and Titans Elite Development System players Juwan Compain and Alofiana Khan-Pereira.
The first $400,000 of the funding will be used to upgrade facilities at the Titans HPC to create a new video review and lecture room, to help improve education and resources for the region’s female, junior and disabled players.
The new education and training facilities will increase the capacity and capability for the Titans to field a team in the National Rugby League Women’s competition in the future.
The growth and popularity of girls’ rugby league in the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers region is reflected in participation numbers in the Titans’ Karyn Murphy Cup, which has expanded in 2019 to include 17 teams from seven local schools across three age divisions.
The spike in participation numbers among women and girls in the region is being driven by Titans feeder clubs Burleigh Bears and Tweed Seagulls providing pathways for females to compete at the highest levels of the game.
Purpose-built facilities for female teams, with access to professional training, medical and educational facilities will take development of the women’s game to the next level.
The ultimate aim is for a Gold Coast Titans Women’s team to be winning premierships for our community with a team consisting primarily of local juniors to inspire the next generation of girls to follow in their footsteps.
The remaining $100,000 will directly benefit the Titans’ PDRL team, with the purchase of a modified bus to transport the team to training and matches.
The Titans PDRL team has been playing exhibition games in anticipation of the creation of Physical Disabilities Rugby League competition, and has been inspirational in delivering the message of inclusivity in rugby league in the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers region.
Titans Executive Chairman Dennis Watt said Labor’s funding commitment was fitting recognition of the club’s outstanding work in creating opportunities and pathways for everyone in the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers community to be involved in rugby league.
“From the very top level of this club through to our supporters and junior players, the Titans are not only grateful for, but undeniably strengthened by, the contribution of women and girls to rugby league in our community,” Mr Watt said.
“This funding is not only an acknowledgement of the work already been done by the Titans in the area of inclusiveness, but will allow us to accelerate and multiply that work to offer an even broader opportunity for education, training and pathways to enable all players and coaches to compete at the highest level possible under the Titans banner.”
Gold Coast-based Senator Murray Watt said Federal Labor’s investment would back up the Titans’ efforts to open up rugby league for all.
“The Titans have done a great job in opening up rugby league to everyone on the Gold Coast, no matter what their background,” Senator Watt said.
The Senator’s comments were backed by Ms Stanton, who described the funding as a big win for rugby league on the Gold Coast.
“Already hundreds of Gold Coast women and girls are taking up rugby league and they deserve to be supported every bit as much as our male players,” Ms Stanton said.
“Better facilities for women and players with a disability demonstrates Labor’s commitment to everyone in our community.”