Parramatta Eels CEO Bernie Gurr has praised the Blue & Gold players and coaching staff for the way they have not only begun their season, but to the way the playing group has engaged and embraced the Club’s commitment to the community work and the work done off the field.
Speaking at the Eels and Life Education Partnership Launch, Gurr had plenty of positive words about the Club’s work in the community.
“We have to give back to the community and Life Education is an extension with what we already do through our schools program,” Gurr said.
“We are very fortunate in this Club that our players really embrace the community engagement. If you don’t have the players engaged and getting out there in the community, it just caves.”
“The kids out there want to see their idols, not the suits, and we have a really good group of players that really engage and embrace that involvement.”
“The roll-on is effect apart from getting across the messages of a healthy lifestyle by working with the experts at Life Education, hopefully we turn the young kids into Blue & Gold fans.” Gurr added.
Gurr has had plenty of experience in the game, and the CEO says that the winning performances on the field from the players have in turn, helped all areas of the Club.
“The icing on the cake is when they win. Winning cures a lot of ills around football clubs so all credit to the coaching staff and players to the 2-0 start.” Gurr said.
“It’s very hard to go on the road to win at Brookvale and Wollongong, they are historically difficult places to win and hostile environments so credit to our players.”
“It’s all to do with our players and coaching staff. They have to have the commitment to go and do it.”
“They are on the road again this week, it’s a bit of a trap game for our Club, but the reality is when you win, it helps everything in professional sporting clubs. It even helps the programs we do out in the community because there is a bit more buzz, a bit more air in the balloon so to speak, so winning definitely helps.” Gurr added.
And whilst the Eels launched a partnership that will support the delivery of school based programs across western Sydney for almost 40,000 students in 205 schools, the highest school presence in the NRL and western Sydney, Gurr said it was vital for all the Clubs in the west to continue to grow, for the importance of the game.
“We want to own our part of the west first and you have to chip away at these things. Parramatta has such a great proposition, we are a powerful Club and we have a scale that some other clubs don’t have, and quite frankly, I’m supportive of Penrith, Canterbury and the Tigers in their respective districts working as hard as they can to get more rugby league fans.” Gurr said.
“At the end of the day, the aggregate is the good thing for rugby league.”
“The reality is the NRL needs the four western Sydney clubs to be successful. They need us out and about and in the minds of the children. There are other codes, like AFL and soccer, that are out there doing it and we have to do it better because it’s our heartland.” Gurr added.