Building on an incredible legacy of supporting those in need within the rugby league community, independent grassroots charitable foundation Men of League is now Family of League.
Since it was first established by rugby league greats Ron Coote, Jim Hall and Max Brown in 2002, the unique sporting charity has supported the rugby league family in times of hardship or crisis, providing over $10 million of financial support and 10,000 hours of volunteer service.
“While Men of League was the perfect name for our charity in 2002, when male ex-players were the focus of our assistance, Family of League perfectly describes the wider group we help now. Over the past two decades our volunteers have increasingly identified and helped women and children in need in our rugby league family, as well as men.
“We are enormously proud of our heritage and legacy, and recognised the need to evolve to continue that legacy into the future. Our new name more accurately reflects and represents what we have grown to be, who we now are, and the invaluable work our organisation, members and volunteers do to care for those in need in the family of league,” says Ms Helen Wood Grant, Chair of Family of League.
Family of League’s network of more than 6,500 members and volunteers, and 39 dedicated committees across New South Wales, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory and Victoria, come together for the game, and for each other.
The charity’s Honorary President and co-founder, Ron Coote, says the organisation’s new name clearly demonstrates to everyone within the rugby league community, that Family of League is there for them.
“Our intention from day one was to use the principles of teamwork to give back to those in our game facing tough times. Our members − then and now − unite over a shared love of the game and the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of those in need. Our new name tells it like it is – we are a family caring for the everyday heroes who keep the game of league thriving in Australia,” says Mr Coote.
To support its wellbeing initiatives for those experiencing hardship or crisis within the rugby league community, Family of League raises funds through a combination of grants, sponsorships, membership fees, public donations and fundraising initiatives.
“We acknowledge the incredible contribution that people from all walks of life make to the game of rugby league and stand ready to support them in whatever way we can, in their most challenging times,” says Stephen Lowndes, CEO of Family of League.
“This year alone, the organisation invested over $1.1 million in wellbeing initiatives to support the everyday heroes of rugby league,” he continues.
According to Lowndes, Family of League looks forward to welcoming more people into the organisation and doing even more for their community.
Our new name allows those in the rugby league family to clearly understand that we’re here to support them when they need a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on.
CEO of Family in League
“Whether you’re a fan, member, donor, partner, or sponsor there is space at our table for all who love the game of rugby league,” concludes Lowndes.