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Media Release


31 January 2024

City partners with Eels to push Parramatta’s potential further

A three-year partnership between the City of Parramatta and Parramatta Eels is set to deliver free rugby league clinics to thousands of additional local kids, build participation and inclusion for young girls in multicultural communities and support a new scholarship for women in Western Sydney.

The new partnership will also seek to grow the reputation of Parramatta as a global visitor destination, with the City’s destination marketing brand “Parramatta – Where It's AT” to be featured on the Eels’ NRLW playing jersey and in game day signage and advertising.

In total, the City will invest $1.15 million over the next three years in the shared strategic areas of community, brand and visitation. The Eels will also directly invest $600,000 during that period to stage major events and launches in the LGA and support the city’s marketing initiatives.

City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Pierre Esber said the partnership was about two of the City’s biggest organisations working together to amplify their efforts to make Parramatta stronger.

“It will give thousands more kids the chance to participate in free player clinics, give young girls from multicultural backgrounds the chance to try rugby league for the first time and give a helping hand to women in our community to follow their dreams and inspire others to follow theirs,” Cr Esber said.

“We’re not just growing participation in sport – we want to grow the reputation of our City as a destination that more people want to visit and ensure that when they do visit, they stay longer and experience all our city has to offer.

“Council is firmly focused on delivering on the needs of our resident and business ratepayers, whether that’s local infrastructure, investing in initiatives that drive economic activity or grow our arts, culture and sport, making Parramatta the best place to live.”

Parramatta Eels chief executive officer Jim Sarantinos said the partnership would build on the Eels’ current program of community engagement within the Parramatta LGA and their funding of participation by young boys and girls across all forms of rugby league.

“We are pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with the City of Parramatta and together, we look forward to delivering strong outcomes for our community.  
“Our partnership will result in thousands of local kids and multicultural communities benefiting from holiday clinics, school programs and participation events across the LGA.  We want as many young people to get the opportunity to get involved in our game as possible and experience the enjoyment that sport provides – this partnership will play a big part in delivering this. 

“At our Club we have a strong focus on supporting the growth of women’s sport from grassroots through to the elite. We have seen in excess of 100% growth in junior female participation in the last three years and this partnership will importantly see the City become a major partner of our NRLW and help to grow our women's rugby league program.”

“Parramatta is a great City which we are very proud to represent. It is a City with enormous potential and we look forward to working with the Council to promote Parramatta to a large national audience and co-invest on major events that will drive strong visitation and economic impact across Parramatta.”

The partnership includes community, brand and visitation components such as:

  • A new Rising Women of Western Sydney scholarship that will support a young woman to progress their career goal in their chosen field
  • Free player clinics for 18 additional primary schools in the Parramatta LGA
  • Free holiday clinics for local kids
  • A new initiative that will introduce young girls from CALD backgrounds to rugby league with games in the lead-up to the NRL Multicultural Round
  • Eels launches and events across the LGA including the NRL and NRLW season launches, fan launch and Women in League round event
  • Parramatta ‘Where It’s AT’ destination branding on the Eels’ women’s jersey and in game day signage and advertising

Upcoming events