Local children gave Brad Fittler a real hero’s welcome when he dropped by Campbelltown Stadium yesterday.

The rugby league giant was here for the announcement of Wests Group Macarthur’s $330,000 commitment to power the grassroots rugby league conference across the Macarthur region for the second year running.

The conference, comprising of over 500 teams and 7,000 players, continues to represent the largest financial commitment to any sporting code made by Wests Group Macarthur and supports 23 Clubs covering the Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee LGA’S.

Fittler thrilled the children by jumping onto the field with them during a clinic with some of their other favourites, Charlie Staines, Api Koroisau, John Bateman and Asu Kepoa.

“Rugby League has been the beating heart of Wests Group Macarthur since inception in 1974,” Chairman of Wests Group Macarthur Alan Buxton said.

“Being able to support the past, present, and future of the game within Macarthur is a privilege we take seriously and we are pleased to see the local conference continue to grow in 2023.”

Significantly, the Macarthur region which is now the second largest grassroots Rugby League network in NSW (second only to Penrith)!

The funding from Wests Group for the 2023 Season prioritises cost relief to families with Insurance subsidies available for every participant, rebates offered on socks and shorts and the covering of Referee fees to help alleviate registration and game day costs on families that are partaking in Junior Rugby League.

Funding also extends to projects that help promote positive rugby league pathways including player development and volunteer training programs, marketing and promotion initiatives, special events including gala days and finals series and sponsorship of the Andrew Johns (16’s) and Laurie Dailey cups (Rep teams).

Chairman of the Wests Tigers JRL Board Daniel Draper said that this partnership agreement of the combined Wests Tigers Macarthur Junior Rugby League and Group 6 Rugby League conference for the upcoming 2023 season was a huge win for Rugby League in the region.

“Last season had many positives and 2023 is certainly looking bigger and better once again thanks to Wests Group Macarthur. On behalf of all clubs and participants I can’t thank Wests Group Macarthur enough for their continued support of Rugby League,” Mr Draper said.

“The support Wests Group Macarthur is giving Rugby League is evident in the continued rise of playing numbers across the region leading into the 2023 season,” Chairman of the Group 6 Junior Rugby League, Mark Dooner, said.

NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden said he was grateful for the continued support from Wests Group Macarthur for one of the fastest-growing areas of Rugby League.

At the heart of Western Suburbs League Club, the flagship venue in Wests Group portfolio, is a historic connection with Rugby League and the Group 6 Rugby League competition – with the club originally built to support Campbelltown’s oldest rugby league team, the Campbelltown City Kangaroos with origins back to 1908.

The region has a great track record of producing Rugby League talent including David Nofoaluma (Campbelltown Warriors), True Blues Ryan Hoffman (Campbelltown Collegians), Anthony Minichiello (East Valley United) from Macarthur as well as James Tedesco (Camden Rams) from Group 6.