Get into Rugby, a Waratahs Rugby campaign to introduce rugby to the bush, has wrapped up at Nabiac.
More than 60 boys and girls between ages eight and 14 years from Gloucester, Forster, Taree, Wauchope, Wingham and Nabiac completed the Lower Mid North Coast junior rugby union six week development operation recently.
"This has been an overwhelming success,'' development manager Lee Sullivan said.
"There was 12 months of planning prior to this event. A strong support from Mid North Coast board and a quality working party all with a clear direction has laid the foundation and created pathways for junior rugby in the region.''
Mr Sullivan said plans have now started to establish a junior competition in 2020.
The program had four target groups, providing introduction to rugby, fundamental skills, core attacking and defensive techniques, all aligned with ongoing development for a game.
"What a true blessing, seeing young boys and girls having so much fun, learning rugby, creating friendships and showing true rugby spirit,'' under 10s coach Aaron Dodds said.
"The development from week one to week six was phenomenal, the future looks bright for these kids and our community."
This has been an overwhelming success.Lee Sullivan
Under 12s coach Jim Wilson was impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the players.
"Players initially with little knowledge of rugby were able to mix it with the best of them by the end of the program,'' he said.
"The development of skills and rugby ability was only equalled by the making of new friends, something that will be at the front of their game in future years."
Female development coach Felicity George said the program has given young girls the opportunity to play rugby.
"Young girls turning up after commitments such as ballet or athletics shows there is plenty of keen kids who want to play rugby,'' she said.
"Having quality coaches assisted the girls playing footy with the boys with no special treatment resulted in huge smiles, high fives while their enthusiasm was infectious."
MNC Rugby chief executive Bob Wilson thanked those responsible for organising the program.
"Mid North Coast Rugby appreciates the efforts of Lee Sullivan, Aaron Dodds, Mat Morris, Jim Wilson, Tom Davidson, Felicity George, Stuart and Andy Paynter, Michael Wooster and the many others who have assisted with the successful delivery of junior rugby,'' he said.
"It may take some time but the foundation has been laid by the LMNC junior committee.''