Bathurst is a vibrant regional city with a rich cultural heritage, located less than 2 hours drive west of Penrith. Set in a wonderful natural environment with warm summers, clear, crisp winters, occasional snowfalls and beautiful spring and autumn colours, Bathurst is one of the region’s most beautiful cities, offering a diversity of attractions, activities and facilities.
The Panthers and Bathurst council in 2013 penned a new deal to take professional rugby league to regional New South Wales, moving one of Penrith’s home games out west to Carrington Park in Bathurst, each season for the next five years.
The initiative began in 2014, when the Panthers took on the Cronulla Sharks and marked the first time a top-level game has been played in the region since the City v Country fixture in 2001.
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A lot of due diligence has taken place to ensure that Panthers are doing the best thing for both the game and the community. Panthers have committed to the community of Bathurst and its surrounding communities for five years, and the game itself will be a by-product of a whole raft of initiatives. These initiatives will focus on developing the game of rugby league in regional NSW, focusing on the development of players in Group 10 plus the development of coaches in the region through a coach the coaches program.
For Bathurst the opportunity to bring a round of the NRL competition to Bathurst, was a major coup for the city and a big win for the supporters of the game in country NSW.
The people of the Central West will have access to the biggest names in the League in an annual event until at least 2018. The partnership will also provide some excellent exposure for those who haven’t yet discovered just what a great place Bathurst is to visit.
Rugby League has huge support in Central West NSW and there would be no better location for the NRL to bring one of its big games to continue the development of the sport, not only among the many loyal fans but in the young players who will benefit from coaching clinics with some of the best players in the game.