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Grassroots growth breaking barriers

Following a record-breaking 2023, community rugby league in Victoria enters the new year poised to break barriers ahead of the upcoming season. 

Local school and club competitions both begin in the coming weeks and are set for an exciting season ahead if 2023 is anything to go by. 

More people played rugby league than ever before across the state last year with over 4,600 registered club players in Victoria last year. Records tumbled for junior (up 36% YoY) and female participants (up 43%) while there were also record numbers for registered coaches, referees and volunteers. 

Work in the community continued through connecting both schools and clubs across Victoria with school-based blitzes connecting club-run ‘come and try’ events.  
This supported Melbourne Storm’s community-based training sessions and events, innovative program delivery and competition structures. 

“In 2024 there is even more opportunity for people to play rugby league across Victoria. We have new clubs based in Shepparton and on the Mornington Peninsula and more competition offerings for girls and boys in tackle and tag formats,” NRL Victoria General Manager Brent Silva explained. 

There are over 270 teams participating in Storm Junior League and Storm Premiership competitions across metropolitan and regional locations and we expect the growth in record participation to continue.

“New pathway programs based in Victoria through the Melbourne Storm provide clear pathway for all participants to the highest levels from their local club, further enhancing the experience in the game.” 

Those pathway programs provide a tangible roadmap for elite Victorian talent to emulate the feats of the likes of Young Tonumaipea, Dean Ieremia and Sua Fa’alogo who have all graduated from the Victorian system into the first-grade system. 

Melbourne Storm’s expanded pathways system will be on full display this weekend for what is set to be a historic day for rugby league in Victoria. 

All four Melbourne Storm teams will play at home on the same day with the Harold Matthews U/17s (12:45pm) and SG Ball U/19s (2:30pm) kicking off proceedings on Gosch’s Paddock in the afternoon before the Jersey Flegg U/21s (5pm) take the field on AAMI Park to feature in the curtain raiser prior to the NRL match-up. 

The Storm Premiership and Storm Junior League competitions for 2024 will kick-off in April. Head to to find your local rugby league club today! 

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.