Magpies’ Magic Win

By Lawrence Machado
For a club still in its infancy, sharing the prestigious Panthers Juniors Club of the Year title is a phenomenal achievement for the North West Magpies JRLC. The award was shared with Colyton Colts and St Marys JRL.

Formed in 2018 by five passionate parents Angela Jones, Melinda Cooper, Ben Nash, Anthony Magann and Darrin Rawlings, the Magpies have grown from five teams to more than 20, with “enjoyment for all” being their motto.

The Magpies draw players from the North West Corridor, including the Hills and the Hawkesbury, and train pre-season at 332 Windsor Road, Vineyard, while their home ground from April is Tamplin Fields, Hobartville.

President Darrin Rawlings said they wanted their players to be treated equally regardless of their abilities or budgets. Thanks to local businesses, and parents, the club is proudly forging its own destiny, and ensuring there is a close family connection, and that all players enjoy the game.

“It is fantastic to share this award because both Colyton, and St Marys are well established and it validates what we are doing at the club,” Rawlings said. “In addition to the five founders, there are many great people backing the club.

“We feel we are tracking the right way, and the award means we are doing something right. Of course, there are things on which we can improve.

“The previous club we were attached to, was mainly focused on the higher levels, but we wanted every kid to have an equal chance. We have never turned away a kid. We started with the Under 6s, 7s, 9s and 13s, and now we have up to Under 20s in the Panthers Junior League.”

Like the other founders, Rawlings wanted his sons, John, and Matt, to learn and play rugby league the proper way, and also appreciate how important families are to them.

“Running the club is challenging at times, but very rewarding in the end,”

Rawlings said. “We are a not-for-profit club, and keep enough money for the uniforms, and the special events like Mother’s Day and Grandparents Day.”

The Magpies also owe their successes to seasoned coaches in Wayne Brennan (who played with the legendary Peter Stirling), Colin Murphy, and Barrie Jones, the junior development coach.

The Panthers JL is regarded as the world’s largest rugby league district with more than 8000 players. The Panthers Junior Club title is awarded to a club or clubs where the entire membership has contributed to fostering participation and enjoyment for all participants and … representation of their teams on and off the field.


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