Young people from migrant backgrounds across 20 schools in Western Sydney will be encouraged to play rugby union through the Western Sydney Migrants Partnership program. The NSW Government has provided NSW Rugby Union (NSWRU) $400,000 over four years to develop the program and promote positive health outcomes for young people.

Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams said he was delighted the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government was supporting grassroots rugby initiatives. “This program will help break down barriers and social isolation for people from diverse communities,” Mr Williams said.

“Rugby is a global sport played across many multicultural communities. It promotes strong community values of respect, teamwork and inclusiveness.” Liberal candidate for East Hills, Wendy Lindsay said the funding demonstrated the NSW Government’s commitment to supporting local communities in Western Sydney.

“This program provides a wonderful opportunity for multicultural communities to engage in the social benefits of sport,” Ms Lindsay said. NSWRU CEO Andrew Hore welcomed the funding announcement.

“NSWRU is proud to partner with the NSW Government to launch this initiative. With 63 per cent of our players in senior competitions coming from Western Sydney, this investment further boosts our reach to migrant communities in the region,” Mr Hore said.

“As part of the NSW Rugby’s commitment to Western Sydney, we want to provide opportunities for young talent to remain in their local communities while still having the chance to play rugby at all levels from the schoolyard through to elite.”

Over the last year, the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government has provided more than $23 million to multicultural communities.