All 16 NRL Clubs and NRL ambassadors are setting out on an important blitz across Australia and New Zealand, helping to deliver wellbeing messages as part of the NRL’s annual Community Carnival.
The visits will occur throughout February and March, with NRL players and ambassadors from each Club delivering a range of important health and wellbeing messages to hundreds of thousands of young fans throughout regional and rural towns.
Now in its 16th year, players and ambassadors will meet with local communities and play a role in educating school children on the importance of proper hydration, adequate sleep and developing and supporting a strong sense of belonging.
This year, Clubs, players and ambassadors are estimated to travel more than 40,000kms, visit over 1,000 schools and conduct up to 80 Junior League clinics.
NRL Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Young, said the NRL Community Carnival visits were an opportunity for Rugby League to reach out to thousands of supporters and Club fans in regional and remote areas and say thank you ahead of the 2016 Telstra Premiership season.
“Last year, players and ambassadors reached more than 250,000 school children as part of the carnival and we are expecting this year’s program to have an even greater reach and impact,” Ms Young said.
“Our communities are the foundations from which Rugby League draws its strength and it is important that we continue to educate not just our elite players, but communities further afield, on the importance of living active, healthy and happy lifestyles.”
Professor Ron Grunstein from the national Sleep Health Foundation, acknowledged the support and positive initiative of the NRL and Clubs to engage with local communities and impress important health messages.
“The program being rolled out across Australia and New Zealand provides key messages, including the importance of sleep for young people,” Professor Grunstein said.
“Healthy sleep helps young people be more attentive and learn and perform better, both as students and in their sporting activities.”
Players and ambassadors will help present two education resource programs as part of local visits:
• NRL Wellbeing: delivered to primary school students, focussing on empowering students to value health and wellbeing in their own lives.
• Dream Believe Achieve: delivered to high school students, focussing on the important link between having hope and aspirations for the future and maintaining a positive wellbeing.
Both programs are curriculum linked and endorsed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), responsible for the national curriculum, assessment and reporting of students from Kindergarten to Year 12.
Wests Tigers will visit Coffs Harbour (February 2-4), Leichhardt/Balmain (February 10) and Campbelltown/Group 6 (February 17) for their 2016 Community Carnival.