About the project
The St George Illawarra Dragons are driven by its role as a representative of our community and committed to the positive role it plays within it. We are committed to ensure its associated programs are aligned to key social issues and areas of focus for rugby league, and the Dragons continue to be leaders in this area.
Dragons Community has a clear mission; to have a positive impact on people’s lives within our community, a community that stretches from Earlwood in the north to Batemans Bay in the south and to those of whom we connect with from far and wide.
Through the widely respected and award winning Dragons Community programs, the Club works closely with a range of community organisations and target groups across this region to deliver on the objective of "making a positive impact on people’s lives within our community”.
The Dragons invest significant financial and staffing resources to deliver a range of programs and initiatives for the benefit of the community and to propagate participation in the sport of Rugby League.
The Dragons are authentic in the social impact they seek and deliver and recognise the role sport can play in achieving social change, especially with youth. Dragons’ players particularly understand the unique position they are in to promote, encourage and assist, each year spending on average a combined total of over 6000 hours working in the community.
The Dragons have established a partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation that will assist in delivering increased investment into the following four pillars of focus, to ensure sustainable success for the Dragons Community programs and their participants.
1. Dragons Community Programs
The Dragons Community program has a clear and stated mission, to have a positive impact on people’s lives within our community, and includes a range of objectives including:
• Support programs that encourage people, especially youth, to make positive choices around health and wellbeing, education and other social issues
• Promote rugby league as a means of delivering health benefits and promoting positive social interaction
• Use our profile and the strength of our brand to empower in making positive change
• Utilising the profile and the strength of the Dragons brand to assist selected local charities and associations
• The Dragons Community program delivers a range of community based activities and initiatives in support of three key areas of focus, being Health & Wellbeing, Social Inclusion and Education & Skills.
In 2015 Dragons Community was awarded “Program of the Year” at the annual NRL Community Awards for its ‘Score Dragons’ program, a participation program for children with disabilities.
2. Elite Development
• The Elite Junior Pathways Project provides a pathway to promote the development of both male and female junior teams to participate in Rugby League state programs. The program will engage junior players from the age of 13 to 18 to assist with the development of welfare and skills education, and opportunities to compete in Rugby League initiatives. This program also allows the Club to have highly skilled Coaches and Medical staff work with these junior players at all stages during their development.
• The High Performance program has been established and designed to assist with promoting junior player welfare and wellbeing, through the development and tracking of injury and performance, specialist analytics review and monitoring of performance and recovery outcomes. This performance management process is supported by various technology platforms including GPS tracking equipment and computer analytics programs.
• Located within the communities of Kogarah and Wollongong the Dragons develop and monitor more than 150 male and female athletes at all times, across all levels of the sport. The use of performance equipment plays an integral role in supporting the performance and welfare of players, and requires constant improvement and updating with advances in sport science and technology. This program is essential in assisting performance staff to ensure that the players retain peak performance levels within all competitions