Following on from a successful opening day that focused on female participation in the game, day two of the Ausco Modular QRL Conference saw staff and volunteers from across the game learn more about how to build capacity at clubs and leagues.
MC Peter Psaltis welcomed everyone and kept the day, which began with an address from Chris Bond, rolling.
Bond, a multi-titled wheelchair rugby player, spoke in his role as Sports Partnership Manager with the Australian Sports Foundation about tips to help with club fundraising.
Next up, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg addressed staff and volunteers, giving them an update on the game.
His time and insight was much appreciated by the crowd as he presented an informative, and at times humorous, brief about what the NRL is aiming to achieve during upcoming seasons.
Heading in the right direction - Greenberg
Participation Strategy Education and Senior Projects Manager James Hinchey then briefly outlined the Player Development Framework, which is designed to maximise junior enjoyment of the game while they are developing.
Major sponsor of the QRL Conference, Ausco Modular, then presented to attendees about what their products can do with regards to club infrastructure.
The day then split into breakout sessions, with attendees choosing which presentations would most benefit their clubs.
The risks and rewards associated with social media were discussed in depth by Integrated Digital Communication Strategist Liz Buchanan who showed real world examples for things done well and not so well; she also spoke about the importance of having an effective Crisis Communications Plan.
The Caloundra Sharks shared their player retention strategy and spoke about how measures, including making all the players feel like they belong to one club and training as one squad, helped.
Southeast Queensland Wellbeing and Education Manager Luke Archer addressed a packed room to share his knowlege about improving player welfare and helping players learn and grew off the field.
A popular session saw QRL Outback Operations Manager Peter Rafter share the stage with the QRL Regional General Manager to highlight the good work happening at Central Division (Region) club the Blackall Magpies.
Club representatives Hector and Flop spoke about how important it was for the club to incorporate themselves into the community, and the benefits for making people feel part of the club – including getting some of the players to serve tea and coffee at local flower show.
Toro Australia then took the conference outdoors to conduct a field maintenance demonstration.
More regional experience was called on when the Mackay Juniors shared the different approaches they had taken to help lift participation numbers with strategies including the introduction of an All Abilities League and forming an alignment with Intrust Super Cup club Mackay Cutters.
Some helpful advice on attracting and retaining volunteers was presented by Sports Community National Community Partnership Manager Andrea Vanderwal, who suggested programs like micro volunteering options and providing role descriptions to volunteers were effective.
Club representatives also heard about the benefits of insurance for their players and volunteers by Terry Berryman, from provider AJ Gallagher, while a discussion of QRL rules proved to be another popular session with all Division (Region) Managers part of the discussion.
The Ausco Modular QRL Conference concludes tomorrow.