ARL conference ‘writes a new future’

Motivational speakers Lawrie Lawrence and Raylene

Boyle were among the highlights of the ARL sports and leisure division conference, with additional encouragement for members coming from footballers from Essendon and Collingwood football clubs, reports editor Maggie Coleman.

As always the conference was held in Melbourne across four days, with the awards dinner on Sunday night at the Crown Palladium where 260 members and suppliers kicked up their heels at the roaring forties-themed night.

Reports general manager Corrie Withers, “We are very pleased with the member turnout – it is the largest number we have ever had here. “The conference theme was ‘write a new future.”

The two days of expo are held in the Victory Room at the Etihad Stadium, to the accompaniment of the stadium groundsmen getting the sacred turf ready for the next football match.

Says Withers, “We were thrilled with the number of suppliers who showed product and dressed stands.

He agrees that trade has been tough, particularly late last year, and is not very optimistic about the first few months of this year. About 20 members were affected by floods and Cyclone Yasi.

But “ the group is very healthy and we are very strong, We know we need strength in core basics and are focussing on making sure we have that strength.

Winner of store member of the year, presented at the Sunday night dinner, are Kevin and Kathy Wise from Devonport SportsPower.

Suppliers and reps were also presented with awards. They are:

• Victoria: Rod Lawson from Russell Athletic and Brendan Streader of Asics;

• NSW: Scott Masters from Gray-Nicolls;

• SA: Patrick Spiteri from Gray-Nicolls;

• QLD: Shane Gooneratne from The Fitness Generation;

• WA: Paul Stockden from Sportsmax Agencies (Playcorp, Everlast and Power Balance);

• Tas: John Fulton from Extreme Agencies ( Infiniti Fitness Systems);

Suppliers of the year are Adidas ( apparel), Asics (footwear) and Infiniti Fitness Systems ( hardware and fitness).

The dinner helped celebrate ARL’s golden anniversary with a number of generous prizes to be won.

Pictured: Jenni and Terry Neill of Get Physical Agencies with Shane Young of SportsPower Stawell (centre)

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