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QRL eyes sustainability and growth with launch of Infrastructure Strategy

Queensland Rugby League has unveiled its major infrastructure priorities to sustain and grow the game in communities across the state.

Today’s release of the QRL Infrastructure Strategy (“QRLIS”) 2022-2030 provides the rugby league community and its stakeholders with a clear framework and strategic priorities for infrastructure improvement throughout Queensland.

The strategy is designed to work collaboratively with stakeholders to create safe and inclusive spaces for participation in sport, particularly rugby league.

The QRL senior leadership team’s Graham Maher believes the release of the QRLIS has the potential to be a game-changer for the rugby league communities of Queensland, especially those in regional areas where rugby league is a way of life.

“The release of this strategy today signals our intention to work with local councils, State Government and other key stakeholders to improve sporting facilities across the state, and it is particularly pertinent in light of the State Government’s opening of their Minor Infrastructure Program today,” Maher said.

With the QRLIS strategy document now available, Maher is encouraging club representatives to reach out to QRL league and club coordinators or area managers.

“What we encourage all clubs to do is to make the QRL aware of current development applications or opportunities, so we can help support them with further resources in the best way possible,” Maher said.  

“We’ve made a commitment to meet the needs of the rugby league community through this framework, which seeks to guide future infrastructure investment to ensure the long-term interests of the game in Queensland are maintained and enhanced.”

The release of the QRLIS follows a successful 2022 season that saw community club participation grow by 4.75 per cent to nearly 65,000 players.

QRL chief executive officer Rohan Sawyer said the development of the QRLIS reinforced the QRL’s commitment to both people and places.

“This is about us taking a co-ordinated approach to help grow the game across the state and provide the best experience, service, and support to communities,” Sawyer said.

“It’s also about providing stakeholders with the confidence to increase and allocate their investments in rugby league infrastructure, ensuring clubs and leagues can provide the best possible opportunities for more people of all ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, and abilities to participate in the game.”

QRL participation data was one of five “key inputs” into the development of the strategy with the other areas being:

  • QRL facilities audit and infrastructure data
  • Community club, local council, and state government data
  • Queensland population and demographic data
  • External expert analysis and market insights

Five tiers of infrastructure and facilities exist within the strategy, with a set of guidelines outlined for each tier.

Queensland currently has 265 rugby league venues with 520 playing surfaces, the majority of which are in the ‘Local’, or tier four category.

The comprehensive strategy also explores changing community, cultural and environmental factors impacting rugby league infrastructure demands across Queensland.

Key trends identified include an increase in demand for night-time participation, as well as an increase in non-traditional participation segments including female rugby league and all-abilities.

With a vision to enable continued growth in rugby league participation in Queensland at all levels through fit for purpose infrastructure and facilities, five strategic pillars have been defined.

These include a focus on sustainably maintaining existing capacity, creating additional capacity and inclusive facilities, and the improvement of facilities to support talent pathways.

Need more information about the QRLIS? Or does you club have a current development application? Contact the QRL via:

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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