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Wests Tigers Foundation Community Update: June 2021

In June, Wests Tigers Community team continued to demonstrate and promote the club's vision of enriching the lives of the community with the delivery of key schools/youth programs — Unite Harmony and Varying Abilities.

These programs and other such engagement are made possible through the generous donations made to the Wests Tigers Foundation.

Wests Tigers Unite Harmony Program – Year 7-10

The Wests Tigers Unite Harmony program aims to encourage and unite high school students (stage 4-5) to be leaders in their community.

The Unite Harmony Program is a six week in school social cohesion program that targets disengaged students and delivers positive messages and themes such as respect, teamwork and communication while using rugby league as the platform.

The program is structured in two components: an inside and outside presentation. The inside presentation allows the students an opportunity to work though a booklet while completing activities on the different positive messages and themes.

The classroom style presentation also allows the students to hear testimonies via video from players both past and present about their stories and experiences. This environment also encourages students to understand the similarities that they may share with their sporting heroes.

The outside presentation is a practical session, where the students have the opportunity to learn the basic fundamentals of rugby league while tying in those key messages they were taught in the classroom. They are taken through different games and drills and have the opportunity to better understand the game of Rugby League.

Wests Tigers understand the positive impact rugby league has on young people and the ability for individuals to come together under a shared sense of belonging. This shared sense of belonging provides opportunities for students to reflect on their values and attitudes and develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for them to practice and adopt sustainable and cohesive ways of living.

The Program was launch in term 4, 2020 and since its establishment, has been delivered to nine different groups over the course of three terms. In term 2, Wests Tigers Unite Harmony was delivered to four high schools in the south west region —Thomas Reddall, Elizabeth Macarthur, Campbelltown Performing Arts and James Meehan.

After completing the 6 week program, Wests Tigers received outstanding positive feedback from the school staff regarding the student’s behaviour due to the positive themes being delivered.

Thomas Reddall High School: “Our kids adored it! The facilitators were so lovely and helpful and were fantastic with the kids!”

James Meehan High School: “Overall, an awesome program. Content was relevant and important; students really enjoyed the practical component and the facilitators really connected and got along well with the students.”

Wests Tigers Varying Abilities Program – Year 3 -12

The Varying Abilities Program aims to provide a platform for school students both mainstream and SSP schools who live with physical and/or intellectual disability to participate in physical activity and rugby league.

Wests Tigers understand individuals who live with a disability need to overcome additional barriers to participate in sport, with 4 million Australians living with a disability (18% of the population). Varying Abilities also encourages program participants to register and get involved with Inclusive rugby league pathways including the Physical Disability Rugby League and Wheelchair Rugby League competitions, respectively.

Varying Abilities is a three-week physical educational program, including rugby league skills workshops and an interactive 30 minute presentation.

The Varying Abilities program offers schools two (2) key opportunities:

  • 3 x Rugby League clinics for students
  • 1 x 30min Celebrating Differences interactive presentation

Wests Tigers had the opportunity to deliver two Varying Abilities programs in Term 2. Marayong South Public School and the Mater Dei School Camden participated in the program.

Over the course of the term over 70 students were engaged in the program and overwhelmingly positive feedback received. The Mater Dei School participants who were apart of the Next Path program for youth transitioning out of the schooling system flourished throughout the program with many of the attendees choosing to wear their Wests Tigers merchandise for the sessions.

NRL player Reece Hoffman joined in on the last week as recognition and reward to the participants for their positive engagement.