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ParraFirst has announced the launch of a Directors Scholarship, which will aim to help Parramatta juniors with expenses incurred playing representative football.
Directors of the Parramatta District Rugby League club receive a $3000 honorarium, which all successful ParraFirst candidates will donate to the scholarship fund.
ParraFirst candidate Peter Serrao has been involved with Parramatta junior representative football since 1995 and won two grand finals as head coach of Parramatta Eels Harold Matthews sides in the late nineties. Serrao said that parents of elite junior footballers often faced a significant financial burden in paying for representative trips like the Australian Schoolboys tours.
Youll find behind almost any elite junior footballer, a very supportive family, who has often had to sacrifice a lot to enable their child to participate at representative level, said Serrao. We hope the Directors Scholarship will help some of those families.
ParraFirst candidate Lawrence Shepherd, managing director of gaming technology business Independent Gaming Australia, has been a long-time Eel sponsor for close on 25 years. Shepherd said that the Directors Scholarship was reflective of ParraFirsts commitment to a code of ethics that would disallow directors benefiting commercially from their position at the club.
Were dont believe directors or their businesses should be contesting business contracts given by the club or profiting financially from their positions, Shepherd said.
Thats a core principle of ParraFirst - the clubs interests always go before that of any individual, and that has to start at the boardroom.
Shepherd said ParraFirst was committed to re-connecting local businesses with Rugby League throughout the Eels region and would aim to work with the club to put in place a district-wide program that would encourage sponsorship and support all the way down to the grassroots of the game.
The Parramatta Eels are more than just a Rugby League team, said Shepherd.
Theyre a focal point of the local community and we believe that a District-wide plan to engage with businesses throughout the area and bring them back into the Rugby League fold as sponsors and supporters will benefit not just the club but the local community as a whole.
We hope the Directors Scholarship sets an example for that kind of engagement and can help other successful business people in the area to think about how they can contribute to Rugby League in the Parramatta district.