On behalf of the Narrabri Blue Boars, I’d like to thank the community for all of the help and support for the Santos Festival of Rugby.

It has been an event that has not happened easily.

There was a short time frame to organise in, that included the Christmas break which makes enquiring and booking things extremely challenging.

Then of course the ever-present concern of COVID-19 and the need to evolve and adapt to health order requirements.

The Tourist Hotel and the local police worked closely together to ensure all licensing requirements were well-communicated and done properly and we thank them both-there was a huge amount of time invested into making sure things were done correctly the whole way through the process.

A wonderful example of positive leadership.

So many organisations, businesses and individuals have been wonderful supporters of the club and have proven over and over why we have such a great place to live.

Our sponsors have updated and refreshed their signage, have contributed extra – be it machinery, knowledge, labour, money, services to enable us to be as well prepared as possible to deliver an experience that will leave a long lasting memory for all who witnessed it.

The economic benefits to our region have been enormous.

The extra business in town for hotels, accommodation, cafes, service stations, food providers, not for profit organisations, medical professionals and many other businesses cannot be forgotten about.

The festival has been a huge shot in the arm for so many.

Without the positive, can-do attitude of the Narrabri Shire Council this couldn’t have happened.

The proactive efforts to make sure Dangar Park was upgraded with new lighting, have the playing surface brought up to such a high standard by the marvellous parks and gardens team and get everything looking neat and tidy has ensured that there are now multiple sports extremely interested in bringing more big sporting events to Narrabri now they’re confident and comfortable that we can host them and host them well.

After recent years of drought and global pandemic, people have been craving something like the festival and judging by the large numbers of attendees throughout who were sporting big smiles it certainly provided an experience that will be remembered for a long time to come.

To see such a high standard of rugby, both professional – Olympic men’s sevens trials and the Waratahs v Reds – and local – Central North women’s sevens and under-14, 16 and 18 girls – along with the professional referees who officiated was a unique experience.

The Welcome to Country ceremony on Friday night was a sight to behold, and all those involved with it should be deeply proud of how it was done.

They are a credit to themselves and their families – their enthusiasm really set a tone for the evening.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank the key stakeholders in the festival, our club sponsors, committee members, volunteers and all other members of the Narrabri community who contributed no matter how big or small.

This is a fantastic place we live in, we’ll continue to host more big ticket sporting events I have no doubt.

We are the sportiest town in Australia and no one will be taking that title away from us anytime soon.

Mick Coffey, Narrabri Rugby Club president

To order photos from this page click here