REON EDWARDS ANNOUNCED AS CRL PRESIDENT
Reon Edwards’ involvement in the game stretches back 43 years, but his new role as Canterbury Rugby League President – which was announced at CRL’s AGM on Wednesday night – marks a return to the organisation in a formal role for the first time since 2015.
Edwards’ vast administrative experience includes serving on the Southern Zone Board from 2009-13 and the CRL Board from 2012-15 – the latter during a vital and transformative period for rugby league in our region – before accepting a position on the New Zealand Rugby League Board in 2015.
Edwards has had stints as Chair of CRL and NZRL, while he retains a place as a director on the International Rugby League Board, which he has held since 2018.
“To secure Reon as President is significant,” CRL CEO Malcolm Humm says.
“Although a non-operational role, to have someone with such a depth of knowledge regarding the local, national and international game is immense, and we certainly will be leveraging off this.”
Edwards first pulled on a pair of boots for Marist-Western Suburbs as a five-year-old, later played for Eastern Suburbs, won a CRL premiership with Halswell in 2003 and represented Canterbury Māori.
His enormous contribution to the game at all levels since saw him awarded NZRL Life Membership last year. But he’s excited about contributing in an official capacity again in his home province.
“Of course it’s an honour to be asked to step into the President role,” Edwards says.
“I’ve been involved in the game since my younger days, running around in paddocks, so it’s great to be able to come back to district level – I’m looking forward to supporting the Board with this new role.
“I’ve been involved with some local clubs since retiring from the New Zealand Rugby League Chair role and I’m still engaged with those clubs, it’s been good for me to reconnect.
“I think the game here in Canterbury is progressing and under some really good leadership, with Wally (Wilson) chairing the Board but also with Mal (Humm), he’s 12 months in the role now as CEO and we’ve seen some really good progress made. It’s great to see.”
Edwards outlined some of his chief priorities looking ahead to his term as CRL President, building on the invaluable assistance he has provided to Canterbury’s clubs more recently – in conjunction with the people who continue to be the lifeblood of those clubs.
“My first-hand experience with some of the clubs I’ve been involved with in the last couple of years is that we’ve got a great bunch of volunteers in the game and really committed people within our clubs,” Edwards enthuses.
“Guiding them and providing some support around best practices is where I can lend a good hand. If we can strengthen the governance aspect of our clubs and the strength of our committees and processes, the rest of it will continue in terms of our player participation and increasing our junior numbers.”
CRL Chairperson Wally Wilson reiterated Humm’s sentiments about the prospect of rugby league in the region further benefitting from Edwards’ experience and selfless input.
“To secure a President with such mana and leadership capability is a real privilege for Canterbury Rugby League and I look forward to working with Reon in the future,” Wilson says.