News Article



The NSW Country Rugby Union will host a competition management workshop in Sydney this Monday to help zone administrators run their local competitions more efficiently and to assist with training the people who run them.

The Executive Officer of NSW Country Rugby Union Stephen O’Brien, says that this is the first time the Union has offered a course to help administrators to improve and develop all areas of country rugby administration.

“We run a lot of courses on coach education and referee education but rarely do we discuss or address the issue of competition management,” O’Brien said.

And for the first time all the regional zones will be represented in a workshop for administrators, along with a number of country junior delegates.

“We want to address some of the issues of why people leave the game or drop out from participating in a club. We know there are generally three main reasons, the culture of the club, how the competition is run and the playing experience, which is based around coaching,” says O’Brien.

“We will address these points with the goal of retaining more people in the game.”

The course will cover how competition rules can be used to change behaviour, to look at how to play the game in the right spirit that upholds the values of rugby and there will be a workshop on the judiciary process.

“It’s important to do this at zone level to give all our managers an opportunity to share and collaborate on a number of ideas, because they never really get the opportunity to do that,” says O’Brien.

“Our values drive what we do and they are unique to our game, so understanding who we are and what we do is important.

“We also need to look at the changing demographics and the people who are playing rugby. Are we listening to them about when they want to play their rugby and is there flexibility on competition models?

“If we don’t, there is a risk we can be left behind by bite sized sports who play short games and competitions at more convenient times.

“We’re country rugby, we’re not high performance, we are all about community and connections and we want to get clarity and consistency across what we do and how we can do it all so much better.”

As to whether the course will be expanded and repeated O’Brien says while the current course hasn’t even started, he is already getting feedback from people asking for the workshop to be run again.

“We’re already being asked why we haven’t we done this before and so we’ll definitely repeat this, it’s a great initiative.”