Ex-NRL player and Armidale local Dean Widders has called upon the local community to get in and get involved in the sport again after news hearing of the cancellation of the Group 19 under 19s competition.
Widders, who now works as an Indigenous Pathways Manager at the NRL, believes people who have previously played a part of the sport in the area can help revive it in the region.
"It is a wake up call for us, for myself, someone from the area who went on and played in the NRL, it is a wake up call for me to go and do more," he said.
"And even for local people up there that loved the game and that have removed themselves from giving back."
Widders has been in contact with a host of ex-players, coaches and administrators in the region in an effort to do something at a local level.
He said there's plenty of people around who could have an impact on rugby league if they put their hands up.
"I know a lot of people up there who have great rugby league knowledge and leadership skills and have been stepping away from passing it on to the next generation," Widders said.
"That support and leadership was what rugby league was all about in the bush and they have lost that somewhere along the line."
He believes there is only a select few putting their hands up to run local competitions and encourage players to remain in the game.
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