DENMAN Sandy Hollow Junior Rugby League Football Club will put the $4000 it won from a NRL One Community Grass Roots Award to good use.
The NRL award capped a big year for the Denman Devils, seniors and juniors.
Last month the senior Devils won the Group 21 first grade premiership at Denman Oval with a grand final win over minor premier Greta Branxton Colts.
The Devils Under 16s also won their Division 2 Newcastle Junior grand final with a brilliant win over Port Stephens.
Out of that side, Hamish Wolfgang, who had toured New Zealand with the NSW Country Under 16s earlier in the season, was selected to play with the Knights juniors next season.
“It’s been a big season for us,” Devils life member and stalwart Neil Barry said.
“Winning the Grass Roots Award is a real honour for us.
“All the hard work on increasing the junior numbers, paying a fair bit of the registrations for the kids, looking after the coaches and even building a couple of new grounds has paid off.
“We had a great year with the first grade winning.
“Ben Hagan and Garry McKeon were our players of the year and winger Rob Smith the rookie of the year.
“Having young Hamish picked in the Knights’ Under 17 squad is great too.”
Neil’s son, Peter Barry, is the secretary of the Denman junior league and he too is delighted by the Grass Roots Award.
“It was one of 12 handed out by the NRL at the Sydney Town Hall last Monday night,” Peter Barry said.
“We were one of three finalists nominated by the CRL. Over the past few years we’ve been able to grow our numbers from 70 to 150.
“We’ve also attracted some good sponsorship from local businesses and, through that, we’ve been able to defray a lot of the registration costs for the juniors.”
This year the junior club also supported the recently- formed Men Of League and that followed charity days for cancer in previous years.
“We haven’t raised that much, about $1000 each time, but it’s been good,” Peter Barry said.
“We’ve also got 12 girls playing in our junior competitions.
Winning that $4000 as club of the year will be a great help for us.
“We’re in the process of building two new fields up the hill from where we are presently.
“The local council is building two international fields up there as well as a cricket ground.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to be a part of that and we’ll use that $4000 to fit out the new building.”