NRL announces 2016 AMBASSADORS

Legendary Sharks fullback David Peachey, NSW and Australian half-back Brett Kimmorley, Queensland Origin prop Ben Ross and local Cronulla district junior David Simmons were amongst 40 Community Ambassadors announced by the NRL today.

The quartet of former Sharks joined some of the biggest names in Rugby League who have accepted roles as NRL Community Ambassadors in 2016, helping improve the lives of many Australians via numerous community programs.

The former Rugby League stars have accepted positions to be part of NRL community programs, with 15 new additions to the team, including six female ambassadors.

Other ambassadors include Darren Lockyer, Alex McKinnon, Stephanie Hancock, Petero Civoniceva, Tallisha Harden and Justin Hodges.

In 2015, NRL Community Ambassadors reached more than 130,000 school students across 400 regions.

Additionally, ambassadors spent more than 2,000 hours working amongst community’s right across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, helping to improve lives.

NRL Chief Operating Officer, Suzanne Young, said the NRL’s community programs were integral to the game and ultimate future success.

“Rugby League is much more than just a game.  We have a big voice and a big responsibility within our communities, to live up to our mission to bring people together and enrich their lives,” Ms Young said.

“Whether our ambassadors are supporting townships to break down the stigma of mental health, mentoring young Indigenous students to make an easier transition from school to work, or standing up and speaking out about violence against women…we all have a responsibility to help build inclusiveness and positive social impact amongst communities.”

The NRL undertakes numerous community programs throughout the year, aligned to key pillars: Health; Respect; and Learn.

Programs are supported by expert partners, who enable and guide decisions aimed at providing positive experiences and outcomes.

NRL Community Ambassador, Petero Civoniceva, said he was honoured to be part of giving back to the sport that has been a major part of his life.

“Our fans love our game for all the on-field competitiveness, but it is the work that many do off-field, supporting one another, that makes a real difference,” Civoniceva said.

“We have a great mix of ambassadors for 2016 and I am looking forward to being a part of the ambassador group and helping to make a positive difference in supporting schools, clubs and communities throughout Australia and abroad.”

 

Ambassadors are based across a variety of locations, with a key focus on delivering community programs to regional and rural areas in Australia and abroad. Ambassadors went through an interview and panel process before being appointed.

The NRL also released 2015 Community Statistics following today’s unveiling of the 40 Ambassadors.

•             Ambassadors and players spent more than 35,000 hours outside of football commitments working amongst local communities

•             255,392 school children were engaged during Community Carnival (February) on the values of wellbeing and living active and healthy lifestyles

•             41 cultural groups were engaged in various community programs

•             3,500 school children in Papua New Guinea were provided with community education resources

•             350 face to face hours were delivered for the NRL In League In Harmony program (building cohesive communities through values and respectful behaviours)

•             98% transition rate of students into employment and further education via the NRL School 2 Work program for Indigenous students

•             3.4 million people directly reached through the NRL State of Mind program, helping break down mental health stigma

•             Ambassadors visited more than 130,000 children (outside of Community Carnival in February) across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, delivering community programs

  

The 2016 NRL Ambassadors are as follows;

Adam MacDougall
Alan Tongue
Alex McKinnon
Anthony Minichiello
Ben Ross
Ben Smith
Brent Tate
Brett Kimmorley
Bronson Harrison
Dallas Johnson
Dan Hunt
Danny Buderus
Darren Lockyer
David Simmons
David Peachey
George Rose
Georgia Hale
Jason King
Jerome Ropati
Joe Galuvao
John Skandalis
Josh Perry
Justin Hodges
Luke Bailey
Mario Fenech
Matt Cooper
Matt King
Matt Bowen
Nathan Hindmarsh
Nathan Merritt
Petero Civoniceva
Renae Kunst
Roy Asotasi
Ruan Sims
Samantha Hammond
Shaun Timmins
Stephanie Hancock
Tallisha Harden
Tom Learoyd-Lahrs
Wendell Sailor

NOTE: Stay tuned to the Sharks website and Sharks TV over the next few days for interviews with two of the 2016 NRL Ambassadors in Brett Kimmorley and Ben Ross.