The Sharks got out to six local area Christchurch Schools on Wednesday in a continuation of their community and promotional work in the Canterbury District of New Zealand.
The players were broken up into four groups in visiting the schools as they delivered the NRL’s Tackle Bullying program. The schools included St Thomas High as well as Papanui, Hornby and Aranui Schools.
Amongst those to players to take part in the school visits were Paul Gallen, Todd Carney, Sam Tagataese, Sosaia Feki, Blake Ayshford and Wade Graham, while Fa’amanu Brown was only too happy to volunteer to drop in on his former high school at Hornby.
Also keeping the Sharks occupied was a trip to an aged care facility, with Isaac De Gois, Jacob Gagan and Nathan Stapleton spending an hour mingling with some 50 hospital patients as they did their best to brighten their days.
In addition to the hospital visit, on what was another busy day the Sharks interacted with over 500 kids in total.
And in an indication of their popularity and also the appreciation shown by the Christchurch community in general, the Sharks were front and centre on the local television news bulletins and front page of the local newspaper for all the right reasons.
Tonight skipper Paul Gallen, coach Peter Sharp and a collection of Sharks NRL players will attend a Canterbury Rugby League (NZ) fundraiser at the Christchurch Casino. Proceeds will go to the local junior league, which independently of the NZ Rugby League has organized the Sharks two day visit of the Christchurch area.
The Sharks would like to thank the Lincoln University for the use of their outstanding field and gym facilities and also the Selwyn Aquatic Centre which provided access to their pools.
Next on the agenda the Sharks now move on to Auckland tomorrow to continue preparations for the upcoming Dick Smith NRL Nines event which begins Saturday.
The Sharks kick off the Nines when they take on the Newcastle Knights in the first match of the tournament at 10.35am (Sydney time). The Nines will be televised on Fox Sports and is being shown live in Sharkies Leagues Club.