Shark Kurt Capewell was joined by NRL representative Anthony Minichiello last week as the pair visited south-west Queensland as a part of the NRL’s Road to Regions initiative.
Capewell and Minicheillo attempted to excite and inspire the locals ahead of the 2018 NRL season as they visited schools, participated in local Come and Try clinics, went into classrooms to teach lessons of respect and wellbeing and lent their support to local fundraising events.
It was a jam-packed itinerary, one which included two school visits in Roma on the Thursday, attending a local training session in St George later that night, then more schools and the district swimming carnival the next day.
Added to that was a couple of fundraising events in the evening aimed at supporting the local junior league clubs.
All up it was a trip Capewell enjoyed, especially in a region not too far from his family home and nearby to where his rugby league journey began.
“I finished up in St George on the Saturday and drove the five hours to Charleville so it was good to have the opportunity to take part in the NRL roadshow and to also be able to get home to visit the family,” Capewell said.
“When we do get to travel for programs like the NRL Road to Regions initiative, to places we’re not able to visit regularly, we always enjoy it, and for me having grown up in the south west Queensland region, to get back close to home and to an area I’m familiar with, was an added bonus,” said Capewell.
NRL Head of Government and Community Relations, Jaymes Boland-Rudder said the visits would extend on the annual community visits that NRL clubs have traditionally made to regional parts of the country, particularly during pre-season.
“The start of any NRL season brings with it a renewed sense of excitement and hope for fans and players,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.
“The visits will no doubt add to the anticipation of the year ahead, but importantly, it’s an opportunity for players to thank fans for their support throughout the year and help support local community and league programs that take place across so many townships.
“The Road to Regions initiative will see NRL players engaging with rugby league communities in parts of regional and remote Australia where there haven’t been high levels of NRL engagement historically – helping ensure the game continue to grow across the country.”
The NRL Road to Regions tour, supported by the Rugby League Players Association, will continue to see select players from NRL clubs participate in local community programs and help out with junior club training, as they thank some of the thousands of fans from rural and regional Australia that support the game.
Junior Rugby League registrations for the 2018 season are now open. To find out more visit www.nrl.com/play.