LEADING MAN: Outgoing Sunraysia Rugby League president Ted Guinea, pictured at the River1467 studios, has loved seeing the game grow in the region. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By MITCH RODD

OVER the past five years Ted Guinea has watched the Sunraysia Rugby League (SRL) grow into a popular sporting competition.

The outgoing league president also believes the competition will continue to go “from strength to strength”.

The popular radio presenter on local station River1467 recently relocated to Canberra for work, but will remain as interim SRL president until a suitable replacement is appointed.

Ted became secretary of the fledgling SRL competition in 2007 and he praised the growth of the game in an Aussie Rules heartland.

“When I came here from Mudgee and joined the SRL, we started with nothing,” he told Mildura Weekly prior to his move.

“To get the competition to where it is now has really been a collective effort from everybody involved.

“It’s really been rewarding to have seen that growth and I think the SRL will continue to go from strength to strength.

“It’s a great sport and a great community thing to be part of.”

Ted also paid tribute to the efforts of game development officer Henry Street, and his predecessor Martin O’Rourke, in helping to grow the game through junior levels.

“When we started we didn’t have a Game Development Officer so to have that role created for the SRL has been essential in its development,” he said.

Expressions of interested are now being taken by the SRL for the presidency.

“Someone doesn’t necessarily have to be a member of the SRL community to apply,” Ted said.

“Ideally we’d love someone in Sunraysia who can take care of the governance and strategic directions. Maybe someone who is completing a sports management degree and wants to get some hands-on experience could be ideal.”

Ted added that he has loved his time with River1467.

“When I got here the station was re-launching after a change of ownership and the past 10 years have been fantastic,” he said.

“We started with not even our own studio, and now we’ve won a number of radio awards and have our own base. I leave this place very proud of what we’ve all achieved. Even though I’m not from here, I feel like a local.”

Henry Street said Ted‘s efforts in helping to develop the game has played a significant role in helping the growth of rugby league in Sunraysia.

“Ted was the one who pushed the NRL to get a Game Development Officer here in Mildura. He really started overseeing the board and putting time into development, and the participation rates have increased enormously. There would have been maybe 50 players then, and that number is probably seven times that now.

“I’m not sure if it is in effect here but I’ll definitely be pushing for life membership of the SRL for Ted.”

Henry added he hoped more clubs would help take on a greater role behind the scenes in 2018.

“Ultimately we want the senior clubs to be running the junior clubs and development programs,” he said. “This year I ran the juniors program because it would be a learning period for everyone.

“We will be working hard to try and up-skill coaches at clubs to ensure junior players keep involved in the game and continue to learn and grow.”

Visit the Sunraysia Rugby League website for contact details.