The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have today announced a three-year partnership with New South Wales Touch Football, to increase awareness of and participation across rugby league and touch football in Western Sydney.
The Memorandum of Understanding will see the Eels and the NSWTA work collaboratively to promote local touch football competitions and skills clinics, while also promoting the work of the Eels in the community.
“Touch football is hugely popular in the Parramatta region and played by men, women and children of all ages,” Parramatta Eels Manager of Community Development and Engagement, Michael Basan, said.
“Many of our NRL players come from touch football backgrounds, so we see it as another crucial participation pathway for our club to tap into.”
One of the partnership’s particular goals is to increase female rugby league participation through touch football, as well as developing a hybrid women’s game to be played during the rugby league season.
“More than 40,000 people play touch football in Sydney, with 5,000 coming from the Parramatta region alone, so we’re thrilled to have the Eels partner with us to continue to grow and promote the game in Western Sydney,” Sport Manager of NSW Touch Football, Daniel Rushworth said.
The Eels and NSWTA will work to continually improve the relationship between the NRL club and local associations in the Parramatta region and Sydney’s north-west corridor.
“Bringing touch football into the rugby league family opens up many opportunities for players and allows us, as a club, to see another range of talent,” Parramatta Eels Assistant Coach and former Australian representative touch football player, Steve Murphy, said.
“It’s an exciting partnership and I’m sure it will be positive for both the Eels and NSW Touch Football.”
The Eels and the NSWTA marked the new partnership with a visit on Monday by Sport Manager Daniel Rushworth to the Eels Training Centre in North Parramatta, as Parramatta coaches and players put on an impromptu game of touch with local players from the Hills, Parramatta and Westmead Touch Associations.