GROUP 10 looks set to reward clubs for a bumper 2013 season by upping the prize money on offer for next year’s premier league premiership.
In an unprecedented move, Group 10 president Linore Zamparini will push to have the winners of the 2014 premier league competition receive a whopping $30,000.
For winning this year’s decider 22-14 over arch-rivals Orange Hawks, Orange CYMS banked a total of $12,000.
The 150 per cent jump on this year’s prize money has been made possible by record-breaking attendance levels throughout the 2013 finals series, with numbers up on all bar one of the Group 10 semi-finals played in 2012.
In total, over 11,000 people attended the six Group 10 finals matches, equating to a $95,000 injection into the game.
And the clubs will be the big winners.
Zamparini said the proposed jump would put Group 10 at “the top of the tree” in terms of prize money in Country Rugby League.
“There’s not too many places that have that kind of prize,” the Group 10 boss said, with the 5000 people flooding into Wade Park for the CYMS-Hawks grand final a fortnight ago alone worth nearly $50,000.
Long serving secretary Peter McDonald was also rapt with the figures.
“In my time this is the best final series I can ever remember, both for gates and level of football,” he said.
Orange, too, played a big part in the success.
The three finals games played at Wade Park - the memorable 12-11 Hawks major semi-final win over CYMS, the green and golds’ 28-20 preliminary final defeat of reigning premiers Lithgow and the grand final - generated $75,000.
In a show of strength for the game across the region, this season’s first play-off match - the elimination semi-final between Bathurst St Pat’s and the Oberon Tigers at Jack Arrow Oval - produced a gate of $7,500.
That figure is more than the CYMS-St Pat’s grand final qualifier in 2012.
The six games played throughout the 2012 Group 10 finals series accrued $45,000 for the game, with only last year’s St Pat’s and Oberon minor semi-final ($7,000) usurping its equivalent in 2013, with Lithgow and Oberon generating $6,500.
The Group has always paid down to fifth on the premier league ladder and the winners of the minor premiership and the major premiership in first division and under 18s also receive prize money.
Zamparini said this season had the potential to set the Group up for the long term.
And with both Hawks and CYMS likely to field similar sides in 2014, as well as a number of other clubs already making moves on the player market, Group officials are licking their lips ahead of 2014.
“And who’s to say we won’t get the same result next year,” Zamparini offered.