Casino NRL product leads from front in coronavirus crisis
CASINO-raised Cameron George has emerged as one of the key figures in the National Rugby League as the competition attempts to battle on during the coronavirus pandemic.
George is the chief executive of the New Zealand Warriors and stamped its commitment to staying in Australia as long as the competition keeps running.
The Warriors are currently based at Kingscliff and due to travel restrictions have not been able to return home since its first round loss against Newcastle on March 14.
George, attended High School at St John's College Woodlawn and is the son of former Lismore MP Thomas George.
He started out in administration roles with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and has been the Warriors chief executive since 2017.
He is still running operations in New Zealand while the team remains in Australia.
"We stand alongside our rugby league fraternity in Australia and New Zealand," George said.
"The NRL need us to be leaders; so we're there and we're standing tall.
"There are huge sacrifices being made from our end and I have to thank the NRL for giving us time to decide what we were going to do.
"Our guys have had to borrow training gear from local clubs (during the week) and we can't thank the people of Northern New South Wales enough.
"I applaud the NRL in what they're doing in attempting to keep this competition going."
George finished High School at Woodlawn in 1993 and played rugby league for the Casino Cougars until 2005.
He became the chief steward of New New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing in 2006 and was the chief executive of the Auckland Racing Club between 2012-2017.
George has always retained his links to the Northern Rivers with the Warriors "adopting" Tenterfield for the 2020 season after the recent bushfires.
"We feel deeply for the New South Wales communities that have suffered such extreme hardship lately," George said.
"They're really hurting, including in Tenterfield, where the community has demonstrated such resilience through ongoing drought and recent bushfire events."
"Ultimately our goal is to inspire, engage with and encourage a wonderful community which has shown incredible resilience in the face of enormous adversity in recent years.
"Rugby league can be the greatest friend of all for people when times are tough.
"We just want to give folk in Tenterfield a little joy and would encourage other NRL clubs to do the same."