• His Excellency David Hurley and Linda Burney MP among those present for giving jerseys to Brewarrina Junior Rugby Club. (Barbara McGrady)Source: Barbara McGrady
This might just be the best underdog story of the 2015 NSW Koori Knockout.
By
Yasmin Noone

5 Oct 2015 - 3:01 PM  UPDATED 5 Oct 2015 - 3:01 PM

Brewarrina Junior Rugby Club plays at its local oval in the state's north each Wednesday. The club has no team gear so the kids play in their own clothes. Not only does this make it hard to tell the teams apart, but it prevents them from playing competitively.

So the Governor of NSW visited the 45th Annual NSW Aboriginal Rugby League Knockout in Dubbo on Saturday to present the club with a surprise gift: 66 official NRL footy jerseys.

Ten sets of jerseys, each inscribed with the logos of NRL and CRL, will go to the kids of the Brewarrina Junior Rugby Club.

His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd) attended the event not just to watch some quality rugby league but to present the jerseys to the woman behind the junior club, Kim Hardy, who was there to support Brewarrina’s Three Rivers Men’s team. 

"The kids will be over the moon [when they hear about this]," said Ms Hardy.

"This gift will be the biggest eye-opener for the kids."

"This gift will be the biggest eye-opener for the kids."

Having jerseys of their own, she said, means that the kids can now go on to play competitively and possibly even one day when they are older, play in the Koori Knockout.

"It will be a positive story for our kids. They will look like a club and be proud of what we’ve got. It will boost their moral."

Ms Hardy said she was delighted with the jerseys and the incredible thought behind the donation.

She said that when the Governor visited in June 2015, "I made it my business to go over and talk to him about trying to make ends meet.

"I made it my business to go over and talk to him about trying to make ends meet."

"I told him how the kids were rocking up to their games, playing with jumpers and t-shirts. 

"We don’t have a lot of jerseys so they play with t-shirts on and it’s hard to pick the kids apart as they don’t have a set of [jerseys]. And I asked if there is any way someone could help us." 

As a keen sportsman and former rugby player, the Governor raised it with the National Rugby League (NRL). That set the wheels in motion. The NRL made arrangements for the jerseys for the Brewarrina Rugby League Club, working with Classic Sportswear and Leagues Clubs Australia (LCA) to facilitate the donation free of charge.

His Excellency said he was only too happy to help out, with the real thanks going to all the supporters who made the donation possible.

"Team stripes mean so much to young players in creating pride and identity,"

"Team stripes mean so much to young players in creating pride and identity," said Governor Hurley.

"I am proud that the National Rugby League could facilitate this gift to an area that is so rich in young sporting talent."

Steve Noyce, CEO of Classic Sportswear, and Alan Wilson from Leagues Club Australia were also at the carnival to present the jersey sets to Ms Hardy on behalf of the kids back home.

"It was unbelievable to think that when you meet somebody like that and you think they will go back after their visit and won’t remember you," Ms Hardy said.

"But he didn’t forget."

"But he didn’t forget.

"It was a great surprise that they did kept us on their mind."

The jerseys will now be worn by players in Brewarrina Junior Rugby Club’s under 7s, under 10s and under 12s teams. 

The junior club is a relatively new club for children aged four to twelve years old, started by Ms Hurley to teach local kids how to learn to catch a ball.

"We haven’t had a junior rugby league team out there for a very long time. I thought ‘let’s have a crack at it’. And I’ve never looked back.

Ms Hardy said the jerseys – and their back story – will be presented to the kids at the start of the next season in 2016.

The new jerseys will also come in handy next year at the June long weekend, when the area hosts a junior rugby carnival for kids from other towns. "Our kids can show off their jerseys," she said.