NSW government allocates $50 million to seven NRL clubs to fund development centres

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Hard on the heels of committing to spend $2.3 billion on Sydney stadiums, the NSW government has allocated $50 million for seven of the state's NRL clubs to fund their centres of excellence.

Tui Lolohea in his debut for the West Tigers.

Tui Lolohea in his debut for the West Tigers.

Source: Getty

Funding ranged from $2 million to $10m for the clubs.

The government said it had redirected funds previously intended as cash payments for NRL grand finals directly towards what it described as "community-based centres of excellence".

Funding from the government is expected to be matched dollar for dollar from NRL clubs and/or third parties.

The biggest winners were Newcastle and Manly who were set to be allocated $10 million.

Other funding grants were: South Sydney ($8.7m), Cronulla ($8m), Sydney Roosters ($5.76m), Wests Tigers ($5.5m) and Canterbury ($2 million).

The Sea Eagles and Tigers received funding reservations while they further develop their centre of excellence proposals with the government's Office of Sport.

Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres said the centres will provide multi-purpose facilities that offer promising young athletes and high-performance athletes with world-class training and development in their local area.

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg was upbeat that the upgrades would make a difference in local communities.

"We want people playing sport and the best way to do that is to provide world class facilities where people can seek to improve their skills, and that is exactly what this funding will deliver," he said.

The Souths project appears to be particularly substantial with the Rabbitohs redeveloping the Heffron Park site at Maroubra into a $25.7m, 5,500 square-metre facility.

Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly was delighted with the announcement.

"This will revolutionise the way our club operates and will give us the impetus to move to the next level, both on and off the field," Solly said.

The state government received a mixed response to its decision to spend $2 billion to rebuild the Sydney Olympic Stadium in Homebush and the football stadium at Moore Park, critics arguing the money would be better used elsewhere.

It came on top of $300 million already allocated to rebuild Parramatta Stadium.

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