The Sharks kicked off the Community Carnival and school blitz yesterday with visits to more than 20 local Sutherland Shire schools, where they engaged with more than 6,000 students.
Two players attended each of the 20 schools and were accompanied by NRL Development Officers, with the community message of this year’s event “Wellbeing”, focussing on everything from nutrition and healthy eating, to regular exercise and mental health.
Later on Monday afternoon the Sharks then conducted a Come and Try clinic at Waratah Oval at Sutherland, an initiative aimed at introducing kids to the game of rugby league who may not have previously played in an organised competition.
Today students across Taree and surrounding areas will be in for the special classroom visits, with Sharks NRL squad members Pat Politoni, Matt Prior, Dallas Wells and Todd Murphy making their way to town for what is the 15th annual Community Carnival.
Over the two days from Tuesday, February 10 - Wednesday the 11th, the Sharks will come into contact with 4,843 students in 15 schools and at two Come and Try clinics across the area.
A special presentation will also be made on Wednesday by the players and Pacific Palms Primary School, awarding YMCA Forster with a signed jersey to assist with the upcoming swimathon.
The Community Carnival sees players from every club visit local and regional communities across Australia and New Zealand throughout February.
“This is a particularly special Community Carnival as we celebrate 15 years of the program,” said Adam Check, Head of NRL Community.
“Community Carnival has made considerable impact over the years on important issues such as bullying and social inclusion. The program has proven that when players talk, students listen.
“The message players will take into schools this year is a simple but important one – taking care of your diet, physical fitness and mental health is vital to your overall wellbeing,” said Check.
Over the four weeks of Community Carnival (February 2 through to February 27), NRL players are expected to reach a staggering 250,000 kids across 300 towns and 900 schools, and deliver 80 Junior League clinics.
Players are armed with teaching resources endorsed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), which demonstrate how important nutrition, physical activity and mental health is to overall wellbeing.
Amongst the schools the Sharks will visit include Christian Community School, Wingham, Taree West Public School and Forster Public School, while the Old Bar Pirates junior league club will host the Come and Try clinic.
Caption - Where's Wade?? Wade Graham and Valentine Holmes visited Woolooware Primary School yesterday, joining the students for this photo. Can you find them?