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QRL state strategy manager, Scott Nosworthy.

I’ve been around rugby league fields for pretty much the entirety of my 49 years.

From the moment I was born, I was on the sidelines while my dad refereed.

A proud north Queenslander, I started playing the game when I was six, and one of my first memories was travelling to Bowen for a game.

The opposition were the Pirates back then and I walked onto the field, looked up at this massive kid with a skull and crossbones on his jersey and just thought to myself, “what am I doing here?”.

Luckily, it wasn’t enough to scare me away and I continued to play until I went to university.

But I have always been around it, always volunteering, whether it’s as a coach, sports trainer or member of a committee.

Scott Nosworthy. Photo: Cameron Stallard/QRL
Scott Nosworthy. Photo: Cameron Stallard/QRL

And that’s what makes me so passionate about my role with the Queensland Rugby League – I’ve seen a lot in my time and there’s a lot I know about what our game needs.

As the state strategy manager, my job is to operationalise QRL’s strategies and to work internally and externally to achieve the desired outcomes around these strategies.

We are looking at the game on and off the field, driving and implementing social change.

We want to really look after the people that are already in our game by creating a place where people feel respected and safe. We want them to have a positive experience and stay in our game.

Before I was officially given this newly-developed role last November, I was the QRL North region manager for 12 and a half years. And before that I was a teacher, a principal and a development officer with the North Queensland Cowboys.

I grew up in Proserpine, went to university in Townsville, and lived in Charters Towers in the small town of Homestead before returning to Townsville where I still live today.

Over that time I have seen how things have transitioned, how we are really moving forward as a business and a game, and how the game of rugby league can lead the way, not just for other sports but across the community.

But I also know how access to the game and opportunities within the game can differ across our state, across regional and remote areas, and the disadvantages certain people face.

And that’s what we’re working on – how to make it better for everyone.

Here’s just a little bit of insight into what we do and where things are at for 2022.

Female Strategy

Growth in registrations is going really well across Queensland, but especially within our female game.

In our 13 to 15 years girls space, we have more players registered now than ever before. And we’re only at the start of April.

Female registration numbers continue to grow. Photo: Damian Freiberg
Female registration numbers continue to grow. Photo: Damian Freiberg

Female registrations overall are up 27.3 per cent on this time last year.

That shows we must be doing something right as a game across all levels from our hardworking club and league volunteers to our board, who have led the positive strategic direction that our game heading in.

An example of the work we’re doing are our workshops which we have on at the moment for the female strategy.

They involve numerous stakeholders, including leagues, governments, councils and more.

We’ve done three from four and that is going really well. This will guide our future direction for the female game and will hopefully lead to continued growth throughout Queensland.

Regional and remote

In April and May we are going to embark on an extensive consultation process around a regional and remote strategy.

We are looking at how we can do things differently to give everyone who lives in those remote and regional locations an opportunity to build capacity, to have increased access to rugby league, and to participate in the game in some way.

The QRL is undergoing an extensive consultation process to develop a remote and regional strategy for areas such as Cairns.
The QRL is undergoing an extensive consultation process to develop a remote and regional strategy for areas such as Cairns.

One example of this is the work we’ve been able to do to build capacity in a number of remote communities across Queensland thanks to a grant from the Queensland Government as part of their Active Kit Funding.

Over the past five months this has enabled community members to gain accreditation in coaching, sports training and refereeing, and will lead to sustainable non-tackle and tackle opportunities in these communities.

This shows how the game can build partnerships and create opportunities in regional and remote areas.

Reconciliation Action Plan

I’m really excited to say that we will soon be forwarding our RAP to Reconciliation Australia to get it ratified.

We’ve had consultations across numerous parts of our game for this.

We’ve also added five new representatives to the QRL Indigenous advisory committee from Toowoomba, Yarrabah, Townsville, Sunshine Coast and Cairns.

Players at the 2021 Murri Carnival.
Players at the 2021 Murri Carnival.

Facilities, schools and more

We’re also starting to do a lot more work on facilities across Queensland and within the school space.

The game is currently working with our clubs, leagues, councils and governments on what rugby league and rugby league facilities will look like for the next 10 years and beyond.

We are also working in the school space on a recreational version of our game at a certain level, so we’ll see what comes out of that.

Overall, it’s an exciting space to be part of.

I’m excited for where the QRL is heading and where the game is heading.

What this job does is gives me an opportunity to work across the whole state, with people at different layers and levels, and through our strategic direction, map out what’s best for them.

I’m the conduit for people all over the state - it doesn’t matter where you live or what you do.

Through our strategies, I can get all of their thoughts and work through those layers across our business to be inclusive.

I know I can’t change everything and there are definitely some parts of the state that I don’t understand as well as I could, so I’m working towards that.

But I’ve been around long enough to know where the gaps are and hopefully I can provide opportunities within rugby league for them.

I know that by working together with the wonderful team members and volunteers in the game that we can make a real difference on and off the field.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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