Is there anything Penrith Panthers can't do?
Shortly after coming from behind to win their third NRL premiership in a row, Panthers revealed they would be putting some money into the coffers of junior clubs.
The South Dubbo Raiders, Wellington Cowboys, Nyngan Tigers and Warren Bulldogs are among several Western NSW clubs to receive a $3000 cheque courtesy of Telstra's junior club grants.
Each player in the NRL premiership-winning side is allocated a grant to distribute, usually to their own junior clubs.
But in 2023 Penrith decided to allocate the $3000 to clubs in their feeder area, namely junior teams in the Group 10 and 11 districts.
Orange CYMS was another of the clubs to benefit and it's junior president, Nerissa Clarke, said it was a huge win for everyone involved.
"As grand final winners each Panthers player received a $3000 grant, donated by Telstra, to allocate to a junior club and previously this has gone to the player's junior home club," she said.
"This year Panthers management made the decision to pass on these grants to select clubs in Group 10 and Group 11 Dubbo District that form part of their feeder area.
"This amazing gesture of passing these monetary grants on, especially when they also have so many clubs and players that fall under their banner in their immediate district, displays their ongoing commitment to the development of our western junior players."
In addition to the money, each Panthers player had each recipient club listed next to their name on the television coverage during the trophy presentation.
Luke Garner bore the Raiders name, Tyrone Peachey supported his home town of Wellington, Lindsay Smith had Nyngan, Spencier Leniu was with Warren and Jack Cogger had the Cobar Roosters.
Clarke pointed to existing pathways from the western area into the Panthers system was already helping clubs lift standards and provide opportunities for their players.
Panthers co-captain Isaah Yeo is a Dubbo junior who has now won three straight NRL premierships while a number of others from the region have represented the club in recent years.
Clarke said clubs were very grateful for additional funds and the continued partnership with Penrith.
"Panthers already input heavily into our western region by supporting junior development programs from under 12s and the junior Western Rams teams," she said.
"These programs have been built based on the very successful structure their development team works on."
Penrith Panthers players choose junior clubs for grant
- Dylan Edwards - Bathurst St Pat's
- Sunia Turuva - Blackheath JRL
- Izack Tago - Lithgow Storm
- Stephen Crichton - Hume Eagles (Victoria)
- Brian To'o - Mudgee Dragons
- Jarome Luai - Bloomfield Tigers
- Moses Leota - CYMS
- Mitch Kenny - Oberon Tigers
- James Fisher-Harris - Cowra Magpies
- Scott Sorensen - Blayney Bears
- Liam Martin - Orange United
- Jack Cogger - Cobar Roosters
- Lindsay Smith - Nyngan Tigers
- Spencer Leniu - Warren Bulldogs
- Luke Garner - South Dubbo Raiders
- Tyrone Peachy - Wellington Cowboys
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