North Sydney Junior League continues to grow

The 2019 Junior League season culminated in an amazing display of teamwork, determination and sportsmanship at the Grand Final Day held at historic North Sydney Oval on Saturday 31st August. With grand final games held in all age groups from U9s to U16s, the finest teams of our district battled it out for the highly coveted title of Premiers.

North Sydney Junior League is again the fastest growing Junior League in NSW, with good growth in participation numbers for the third consecutive year. Since 2015 our playing numbers have increased from 749 to 1095 in season 2019, that’s an increase of 31.5% in 5 seasons. Hills Hawks almost doubled their player registrations in 2019 alone and Lane Cove Tigers maintained an impressive retention rate of 75%. With the support of the district, our volunteer run junior league clubs have been defying the odds of youth sport participation.

Following the successful introduction of the North Sydney Bears inaugural Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership side in 2018, our Junior League has continued the growth of female participation in the North Sydney region going from 25 to 115 players in one year. This female growth came in both tackle and tag format of rugby league and is set to continue into 2020. Asquith Magpies welcomed their first all-female U16’s tackle team to the NSWRL combined conference and four of our junior league clubs, Ku-ring-gai Cubs, North Sydney Brothers, Pennant Hills Stags and Willoughby Roos formed girls league tag teams in the U11s and U13s competitions.

There were a number of special milestones in 2019 for our district, including the
Ku-ring-gai Cubs celebrating their 5 year anniversary. To commemorate this achievement the club commissioned leading indigenous artist, Vicki Golding, to produce a unique artwork that pays tribute to the local Durramurragal people and was featured on every player’s custom designed jersey. The artwork also reflects the culture of the club as a place where children, parents, coaches and volunteers can come together to connect, communicate, train and most importantly play the great game of rugby league.

With the sad passing, this year of much appreciated and highly dedicated junior league life member, Fred Thompson, the district was proud to continue his memory in the U11 Grand Final Fred Thompson Memorial Shield. The 2019 shield was won by a strong Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Stags team and we look forward to continuing this tradition for many more years to come.

With the start of Spring, we are now working towards launching our second year of the fast paced and extremely fun Bears Blues Tag held at Pennant Hills High School. The competition is open to mixed teams across U8s, U10s, U12s, and U14s and begins on Monday 4th November. Summer tag competitions are the perfect way to keep your footy fitness in the off-season, make new footy friends and have a heap of fun doing it.

2020 is set to be a big year again for North Sydney District Junior Rugby League with a number of new projects and exclusive initiatives planned. Alongside the North Sydney Bears, our juniors continue to thrive.