NSWRU announce fourth straight year of growth


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Despite a year of hardship on the field, New South Wales Rugby has returned a significant surplus from the 2007 season as recorded in the Union’s Annual Report, tabled today at the NSWRU Annual General Meeting.

While the HSBC Waratahs had a luckless season on the paddock, NSWRU still returned a $200,000 surplus, with many of the changes implemented in the second half of the year already having a marked effect in 2008. It was the Union’s fourth straight year of financial growth.

‘After several years of strong financial results it was a year to take stock in the wake of a disappointing Super 14 season,’ said NSWRU Chairman Arvid Petersen in his Report.

‘Indeed, ‘Rugby Inc’ faced a difficult year in 2007 but the Board and NSWRU management moved quickly to mitigate a sudden drop in crowd numbers and subsequent income reduction.

‘It was an outstanding effort to produce a $200,000 surplus following such a difficult season.’

Mr Petersen highlighted that while the Waratahs season was disappointing, the changes made during the year have been some of the most significant in the history of the Union.

‘[In 2007] a new CEO [Jim L’Estrange] was appointed and the organisation moved into a brand new, state-of-the-art centre of excellence, the IBM Centre,’ said Mr Petersen.

‘The building marks a turning point for the code in NSW. For more than 133 years the game has been without a true home. Now we have it.’

Sponsorship has been renewed at a 100% rate from 2007, membership is still rising with the Waratahs fantastic early season form, while the Club Rugby scene is set to enjoy its biggest season in years.

Mr Petersen said that while the initiation then termination of the Mazda Australian Rugby Championship was unfortunate, the performances of the NSW teams ‘ particularly the competition-winning Central Coast Rays and minor premiers Western Sydney Rams ‘ were commendable, and provide the impetus for a reinvigorated Tooheys New Shute Shield in 2008.

At the Annual General Meeting, Ken Catchpole OAM completed his tenure as President of the Union, with former Vice President Peter Medway voted into the role.

Barry Killham also stepped down as a NSWRU Director, with Geoff Garland the new member on the Board.

Mr Catchpole provided a ringing endorsement for the changes made in 2007, summing up the season by saying the measures have been put in place for successful times ahead in 2008 and into the future.

‘With 2008 now upon us, we look back on the events of the past 12 months confident that better days are once again ahead,’ said Mr Catchpole.

‘Every effort has been made both on and off the field to ensure that in the 2008 season the HSBC Waratahs return to the upper echelons of Super 14 competition.

‘Grassroots Rugby will not be forgotten in this quest to achieve at the highest level. NSW Rugby’s aim is to grow the game, to support and invest in it, at all levels. This will continue unabated in 2008.’



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