The Dragons ‘launched’ the 2009 season in non- traditional fashion, last Friday, choosing to focus on the club’s commitment to community.
The theme for the Dragons 2009 launch was a "Perfect Day” based on a quote from a famous NBA Basketball Hall of Fame Coach and Player, John Wooden
Wooden’s words of wisdom are, "You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who can never repay you.”
With that firmly in mind, the day began at Kogarah with Dragons Immortals Johnny Raper, Reg Gasnier and Graeme Langlands, U20 players Kyle Stanley, Cameron King and Dean Whare joining Staff and Corporate Partners in visiting St George Public Hospital before planting trees with children from Carlton South Public School at WIN Jubilee Oval.
In Wollongong the day began with a welcome from Dragons CEO Peter Doust and Head Coach Wayne Bennett at WIN Entertainment Centre in Wollongong.
Later corporate partners, players and staff were divided into teams, at key locations, and tasked with successfully completing "a challenge” in line with the eight pillars of the Dragons Community strategy.
These pillars are;
- Dragons Active/Healthy lifestyles school visits - St John Vianneys School
- Rugby League Reads school visits – St John Vianneys School
- Healthy Lifestyle Assembly
- Positive Behaviour for Success school visits – Unanderra PS
- DrinkWise mentoring session – in conjunction with YWCA involving Illawarra Sports High
- Women & Girls
- Joanne Mackay Breast Cancer Foundation - Education session about the JMBCF
- Y Quest – YWCA – Education session
- Grassroots Rugby League
- Rugby League Clinics – ‘Dragons Active’ - St Francis Xavier School
- Hospital visits (Children’s Ward & School and Elderly Ward) – Wollongong and St George Public Hospitals
- Blood donations – Wollongong Blood Donor Centre
- Multicultural school visit – Kemblawarra Public School
- Tree planting and education session – Greenhouse Park, Wollongong with Coniston PS and St Francis Xavier School and at WIN Jubilee Oval with Carlton South Public School
Upon return, Dragons Community Ambassador Wendell Sailor co-ordinated discussion, with a corporate representative from each of the teams, about their community experience.
"It was a very unique day and something the players and corporate partners all loved,” said Sailor.
"Everyone had a story to share and the enjoyment and fulfilment they had was obvious.
"Everyone walked away at the end of the day feeling positive, like they had achieved something and had made a difference.”