NRL All Stars to kick-off massive season launch

Wayne Bennett and the NRL All Stars are heading to Blacktown in a spectacular NRL launch week that will see 500 NRL players and development officers heading across Australia and New Zealand for the Community Carnival in the lead-up to the first ever Harvey Norman All Stars game on the Gold Coast.<br><br>The combination of the Community Carnival and the All Stars will connect with every part of the diverse Rugby League community and, importantly, will bring the game’s ‘Eat Well Play Well Stay Well’ message to more than 100,000 young Australians.<br><br>NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, will join Bennett, NRL All Stars players and hundreds of children for a coaching clinic at Blacktown that will officially kick-off the Carnival on Monday.<br><br>From helping students build community recreation areas, to school and hospital visits, junior coaching clinics and inspiring children to lead healthy and active lives, the game’s ninth Community Carnival will provide a focal point for the tens of thousands of hours that NRL clubs and stars dedicate each year to helping those in need.<br><br>Over the next seven days, players will visit 400 schools in 78 communities stretching from Sydney to Perth, into far north Queensland, New Zealand and throughout rural and regional NSW and Queensland, handing out 6500 footballs, 30,000 posters and 500 Eat Well Play Well Stay well DVDs and classroom resource packs.<br><br>“It’s an incredible kick-off to the season,” Mr Gallop said. <br><br>“During the week, thousands of kids will meet their heroes and the season will launch with an historic match between the NRL All Stars and Indigenous All Stars.<br><br>“Both these events show the desire players have to getting out and lending a hand and it’s a commitment that is going to have a lasting legacy through One Community and Indigenous education programs.<br><br>“Our All Stars teams will be a big part of that activity and it won’t end when the final whistle blows on February 13. <br><br>“It will continue throughout the year, as Rugby League and its players continue to make a positive difference to people’s lives.” <br><br>While the Community Carnival officially kicks off on Monday, such is the excitement among NRL clubs that they are starting early!<br><br>NSW Origin star Jamie Lyon will join Sea Eagles team-mates in Coonamble, in the far west of NSW, on Saturday to conduct coaching clinics and help local high school students finish construction of awnings to cover community barbecue areas at the local weir, which was damaged during recent flooding.<br><br>In the far north of Queensland, Matt Bowen, Matt Scott and Aaron Payne will be among the posse of Cowboys stars who on Sunday will attend junior sign-on days before visiting 13,000 students across 52 schools, from Atherton and Mareeba to Tully, Mission Beach, Proserpine and Mackay.<br><br>Monday’s NRL All Stars appearance at Blacktown will be a prelude to a Western Sydney coaching clinic blitz on Wednesday featuring stars from the Bulldogs, Panthers and Eels and Wests Tigers at Belmore Oval, Parramatta Stadium, Windsor and Campbelltown. <br><br>Nathan Hindmarsh, FuiFui MoiMoi, Brett Kimmorley, Ben Hannant, Jason Cayless, Chris Lawrence, Luke Lewis and Petero Civoniceva will be among the local heroes who will join 2000 students at the various coaching clinics.<br><br>Throughout the week across Sydney and the Central Coast, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Sea Eagles and Sharks stars will conduct coaching clinics and school visits before players venture to areas such as Nyngan, Bourke, Walgett, Coffs Harbour, Atherton – and to Rotorua, in New Zealand.<br><br>Test stars Joel Monaghan and Bronson Harrison will lead the entire Canberra Raiders squad into the Riverina, visiting more than 11,000 students and 55 schools in Gundagai, Wagga Wagga, Narooma, Tumut and Cootamundra.<br><br>Bulldogs captain Andrew Ryan will join team-mates Danny Williams, Corey Payne and Gary Warburton in his home town of Dubbo, visiting more than 4500 school students as well as attending junior league sign-on sessions.<br><br>Broncos and Titans players will travel across regional Queensland and the Northern Rivers, Knights players will venture throughout the Hunter region and to Tamworth, Storm stars will visit Corowa, Wodonga and Wangaratta, while Dragons stars will hold coaching clinics in Perth in the lead-up to their much-anticipated trial match against the Eels.<br>