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NRL supporting Defence families in the Hunter

The NRL connects veterans with Rugby League pathways in the Hunter region

April 27, 2021 – Sydney, Australia – The NRL are bringing veterans and their families from across the Hunter together in two separate events at Raymond Terrace on the 30th April 2021. In collaboration with Invictus Australia (previously Veteran Sport Australia), the events are aimed at promoting the physical and mental health benefits associated with the pathways and opportunities available to them in Rugby League.

Both events are free for all current serving and ex serving members and their families, with a view to build connections within local and sporting communities whilst forming new relationships within the veteran community.

The first event will be held at the Lakeside Football Fields in Raymond Terrace from 4.30pm6pm. It is an afternoon of skills, games and fun provided by members of the NRL Game Development Team and Tackle Ready programs. It is open to primary school children of Hunter veteran families.

The second event, at Raymond Terrace Bowling Club from 7pm – 8.30pm is an opportunity for veterans and their families to find out how to become a Sport’s Trainer or an Officiator in the NRL through their Battlefield’s to Footy Fields Program.

The program is focused on the technical, educational, and personal development of participants and is a genuine pathway through the officiating ranks and sports trainer ranks. Uniforms, insurance, equipment, and mentoring are included. Children as young as 13 can register interest in the night.

For more information, please contact the NRL Project Officer ‑  Battlefields to Footy Fields at

Photo credit ABC Sunshine Coast, Kylie Bartholomew
Battlefield to Footy Field Participant Troy Burgess on left

Tony Archer, Senior Manager – Officiating – Education and Development at the NRL says that the success of the Battlefields to Footy Fields program has been outstanding.

“The social and health advantages for our veterans is clear from the success to date,” says Archer. “Importantly, the presence of our veterans is mutually beneficial to our whole refereeing community. Their experiences and resilience resonate closely with rugby league officiating. Their presence has had a positive impact on our young referees, male and female alike. We look forward to encouraging more veteran to be involved now that we have extended the program to rugby league sport trainers”.

About Invictus Australia

Invictus Australia, previously known as Veteran Sport Australia (VSA), was founded to carry on the legacy of the Invictus Games Sydney 2018. The program is owned and operated by Australian International Military Games, the not-for-profit charitable organisation that was responsible for organising Invictus Games Sydney 2018. IA exists to support veterans and their families to improve their health and wellbeing through sport and recreation.  

Today, Invictus Australia carries on the legacy of these Games, and works with a wide range of Ex-Service Organisations and sporting partners to encourage veterans and their families to become involved in physical activity. It also partners with the ADF to deliver Australia’s Invictus Games team and provides funding and support to former serving Invictus Games participants.

Through these relationships with ESOs and partnerships with a wide range of sporting bodies, it is growing to become a major force in the health and wellbeing of veterans through the power of sport.


For more information please contact Rachel Kerrigan on