October 20 1976 marked an important date in the development of Rugby League on the Gold Coast. The Inaugural meeting of the Gold Coast District Rugby League Junior Division held on this day marked the beginning of one of the most competitive junior divisions in Queensland.
Rugby League delegates and members of the community were present from a number of clubs including Tigers, Burleigh, Runaway Bay, Nerang, Beaudesert, Brothers, Currumbin and the Referees assocation. The meeting concluded with the Gold Coast District Rugby League Junior Division being affiliated with Brisbane Rugby League.
In 1977, the first Gold Coast Junior Rugby League (GCJRL) season kicked off on April 16. This included teams in ages U7 - U15 from Burleigh, Brothers, Currumbin, Nerang, Runaway Bay and Tigers. Tigers also fielded "Special A" teams in the Brisbane Rugby League in U10, U12 and U14. On April 13 1977, the proposal for the Gold Coasts own Minor Leagues referees association was approved.
In 1980 the GCJRL comprised of 49 teams and extended with the Burleigh and Brothers U14 teams to compete on a home and away basis with Seagulls, Cudgen and Murwillumbah (from Group 18).
1981 the GCJRL had been operating in affiliation with the Brisbane Rugby League for 5 years and had considerably grown and included over 50 teams from U7 - U16, competing both locally and in the Brisbane League. The GCJRL further expanded in this year with additions of clubs from Beenleigh and Beaudesert.
Between 1982 and 1984 the GCJRL was proud to announce the implementation of an U17’s age group to the GCJRL. In September 1984, the GCJRL relinquished its affiliation with the Brisbane Rugby League Junior division and became affiliated with the Gold Coast Rugby League (seniors).
In 1987 the Waterford JRL and the Beenleigh JRL become disaffiliated with the GCJRL and joined the Brisbane JRL competition. By 1990, the GCJRL became an incorporated body i.e. Gold Coast District Junior Rugby League Inc. 1990 also marked the beginning of a joint competition with the Group 18 Junior teams in U13 -U17.
Between 1990 and 1999 the GCJRL saw expansion as the Helenvale Hornets JRL, Mudgeeraba Redbacks JRL, Tamborine Mountain Bushrats, South Tweed JRL and Ormeau JRL join the GCJRL competition. In 1992 a motion was proposed and approved to appoint a salaried administrator to complete registrations, the draw and other tasks as required. Carol Willett was appointed as the first salaried Administrator.
In 2001, the introduction of the Amateur Competition for players 18 and over commenced. The Australian Rugby League (ARL) introduced Rugby League Development Officers within the league who played a huge role in developing interest and participation for Rugby League at grass roots level.
Various changes occurred during 2002 and 2005 as the Group 18 JRL clubs leave the GCJRL competition, Bilambil U17 join GCJRL and Jimboomba JRL, the Reedy Creek Raptors and Canungra Junior Loggers become affiliated with GCJRL. The Gold Coast Amateur League became affiliated with the Gold Coast Rugby League (GCRL) and disaffiliated with the GCJRL in 2003.
February 2007 marked a significant milestone as the Gold Coast Titans played their first NRL Telstra Premiership game. The introduction of the Gold Coast Titans not only enhanced the image and increased the exposure of Rugby League on the Gold Coast and but also exhibited opportunities and a pathway for junior players.
In 2009, numbers grew to 5000 players with the U17 competition including over border clubs the Bilambil Jets and Tugun Seahawks. As the junior league expands, the GCJRL decid to employ a full-time “Operation Manager” to service the increase needs of the clubs and competition. Gary Phillips was deemed the perfect candidate by the GCJRL for the position with his extensive experience in Rugby League and a step in the right direction.
In 2010, the U/17 competition grew again to include more clubs from over border, South Tweed, South Tweed Seagulls, Bilambil, and Tugun Seahawks. The season also saw the introduction of an U6 competition, which was the first of its kind in Queensland. 2010 more inclusions in the Kevvie Gordon Sprint to find the fastest player in GCJRL and the Mike Vievers Cup to find the fastest Club. The first winners were Brad Smith (Runaway Bay) and Burleigh JRL.
The Queensland Rugby League (QRL) appointed an "Education Development Officer" Jamie McCormack to provide education pathways for both players and volunteers delivering courses in coaching, league safe and first aid
2012 saw the progressive growth of Rugby League on the Gold Coast with another club addition in the Coomera Cutters, expanding the reach of Rugby League in the northern parts of the Gold Coast. The introduction of a girls open rugby league competition also commenced in 2012. The competition catered to girls aged 14 through to 17 and showcased a base structure for the future of female participation on the Gold Coast.