St Christopher’s Panania Rugby League Club was formed in 1965 to provide a game of rugby league for boys attending St Christopher’s Primary School. The initial meeting was held on 28 March 1965 and 3 teams were nominated to the CBDJRL the very next day – an L grade (under 9s) and 2 M grades (under 8s). Canterbury offered the new club 2 choices for jersey colours – green and gold or maroon and gold. The committee at the time believed the green and gold were too similar to existing club Bankstown Sports and chose the maroon and gold. Club secretary Jim O’Meara and Treasurer Ron Smith then went about seeking jersies, footballs, medical kits and all the other equipment needed for the boys to start playing.
Our first success didn’t come until the following year when the L grade coached by Peter Williams and captained by Trevor Crotty were crowned premiers. Up until the early 70s the Club fielded teams in both the CBDJRL competition (based on both age and weight) and the St Joseph Convent Schools comp (age only) and enjoyed success in both. When game times permitted, many boys played in both comps and got 2 games of footy per Saturday!
In the late 70s the football Club, along with other sports like netball, broke away from the school and became stand alone sporting bodies. From the beginning St Christopher’s JRL had never restricted its players to those who only attended the school and provided games for boys wherever they came from. These days many of our players still come from St Christopher’s Primary School but they also come from the surrounding suburbs of Revesby, East Hills, Milperra, Holsworthy, Wattle Grove, Padstow and Riverwood.
Training for sides originally took place at the back of East Hills Boys High and Kelso Park (where the current baseball and T-Ball fields are located). We then shared Smith Park with East Hills up until 1985 when we took over Bill Delauney Reserve from Revesby Central – our life as nomads was over! Clearly having a home ground and our own training facilities was an advantage and we celebrated by winning the Junior, Senior and overall Club championships and 5 premierships in our first year at River Road!! Our Club Achievements show the success continues.