NRL Chief Executive David Gallop today showcased a $1.5million Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars prize-pool that will fund a vast range of community programs across all 16 clubs.
The announcement came as the Federal Government named the Titans’ Indigenous All Stars representative Scott Prince as the Indigenous Ambassador for the Department of Education Employment and Work Place Relations Indigenous Education campaign, ‘Learn, Earn, Legend!’.
Today’s Gold Coast announcement provided the first opportunity to showcase the real winners of a sporting event that has captured the imagination of millions of fans.
NRL All Stars Cameron Smith and Luke O’Donnell and Indigenous All Stars players Sam Thaiday and Scott Prince were on hand to highlight the legacy that the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars will have across Indigenous and other One Community programs.
They joined ARL Indigenous Council Chairman, William ‘Smiley’ Johnstone, NRL Director Community Relations, Trish Crews and Gold Coast Titans Chief Executive Michael Searle to outline the real winners from the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match.
The Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match to be played at Skilled Park this Saturday February 13, 2010 - the second anniversary of the Prime Minister’s apology to the Stolen Generation - underlines the commitment from players, the clubs and the game to Indigenous Australia and to the ongoing support of Rugby League’s One Community programs.
The Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars is also the culmination of the League's Community Carnival week during which 500 players and staff are taking Rugby League One Community’s Eat Well Play Well Stay Well program to over 100,000 children in more than 70 communities across Australia and New Zealand.
All monies raised from the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars game will be invested in community programs across every NRL Club and be supported by Rugby League’s One Community, with a particular focus on Indigenous programs.
“The whole week is a fantastic way of launching the season and it gives an insight into how important Rugby League is to communities,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, said today.
“For the players and the clubs, it’s a real reminder of how much Rugby League touches people’s lives.
“Saturday’s Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match, on the second anniversary of the Prime Minister’s apology to the Stolen Generation, provides an important focal point for the way everyone can work together to make a real difference in people’s lives.
“It is a new concept in Australian sport and the spirit with which the players and the clubs have embraced the match and the entire week deserves to be commended.”
Some of the programs being conducted by clubs and the NRL with money raised from the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars game include:
- Healthy lifestyle programs targeted at ‘closing the gap’ between the life expectancy of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians
- Eat Well Play Well Stay Well
- Rugby League Reads
- Dream Believe Achieve
- Awareness campaign to reduce cervical cancer deaths among Indigenous women
- Reconciliation activities and events
- Domestic violence prevention
- PCYC partnerships aimed at keeping ‘Youth off the Streets’
- Environmental education
- Indigenous mentoring
The promotion of the Federal Government’s ‘Learn, Earn, Legend!’ program developed through the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations is another major achievement delivered through the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars.
Through its partnership with the Indigenous All Stars, the Rudd Government aims to encourage Indigenous children to stay in school and aspire to success in the workplace.
Newly crowned ‘Learn, Earn, Legend!’ Ambassador, Scott Prince, says he and his team mates are committed to helping the program have a real impact in Indigenous communities.
“I feel very honoured to be given the role of Ambassador for such a worthwhile program,” Scott Prince said today.
“It was my dream to play Rugby League that helped me stay in school and I am particularly passionate about this cause.
“I really hope that I can help motivate all kids, especially Indigenous Australians to stay in school and get the education they need to follow their dreams.”
Minister for Employment Participation Mark Arbib said the Government was pleased to work with the NRL and the Indigenous All Stars to promote education and employment.
“Scott Prince will be an excellent ‘Learn, Earn, Legend!’ Ambassador. He is admired and respected for his skill on the field and that will help promote an important message to young people,” Senator Arbib said.
“The best thing all kids can do is get a good education. We know that the more education you have, whether that be finishing Year 12, completing a TAFE qualification, an apprenticeship or a tertiary qualification, the more likely you are to get a good job.
“Rugby League is a great vehicle to promote this message to young Indigenous people and Scott will be a great messenger.”
On Saturday evening that message will attract national attention as the first Harvey Norman Rugby League match gets underway.
The match will highlight a Community Carnival that this year has seen NRL players and staff visiting towns and cities across the country, while also maintain a focus on the schools in each of their local areas.
Every NRL Club will visit locations from as far as Tully in Queensland to Perth in Western Australia and Wangaratta in Victoria.
Over the week players will visit hundreds of schools, using the game of Rugby League to promote positive health messages.
The Carnival seeks to engage and inspire young Australians to embrace cultural harmony, with players visiting children of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds to deliver nutrition and healthy lifestyle messages.
Notes on NRL All Stars funding and One Community Programs follow:
About the All Stars funding
To access All Stars funding each NRL Club must submit a detailed list of programs to a committee that includes representatives of the ARL Indigenous Council, Club representatives and One Community’s Trish Crews (NRL Director of Community Relations). The programs must aim to close the gap between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians in the area of health, education and employment.
The amount each club can access will be finalised after the match but funds will be distributed evenly across all clubs only after individual submissions are approved.
“It’s a really great way of ensuring that the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars drives real benefits across every club,” Ms Crews said.
“Our clubs and our players do an enormous amount of work and the whole concept of this match is to assist in that process.
“Last year players volunteered around 22,000 hours of their time, not to get a pat on the back but to lend a hand.
“As I’ve said many times in my role in the game it would be great if more people had the chance to see the way so many of our players change people’s lives and the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars will really help.
Club nominated programs already approved:
Broncos in the Community
The support of a broad range of Indigenous charities and in particular a social awareness campaign to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer amongst Indigenous Australians.
Tackling Indigenous Health Project
A community based program in the ACT and surrounding areas that targets teenage Indigenous health.
Bulldogs in the Community Reconciliation Program
A program that focuses on Bulldogs partners, Camp Quality and Children’s Hospital at Westmead, with a particular focus on closing the gap.
The Sharks Sutherland Early Support Service Partnership
An awareness project to support new mothers of all ages and backgrounds.
Gold Coast Titans
Health Education Lifestyles Program (H.E.L.P)
A health initiative that is aimed at Indigenous Australians with the objective of closing the gap.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
|I Love Earth |
Greenroom Grommets Program
Live United Mentoring Camp
"Grow Your Own" School Food Garden Initiative
Five programs that will encompass the areas of the environment, health, teenage mentoring, education and personal development.
Storming Against Violence
An anti-violence and respectful relationships program targeting Indigenous and Pacific Islander communities.
Newcastle Knights Community Program
A project that promotes Indigenous culture, education and health amongst young people in the Newcastle and Hunter region.
New Zealand Warriors
| Backyard Legends |
Eat Well Play Well Stay Well
Rugby League Reads
Learning in Libraries
Four programs targeting local youth across a range of socio-economic backgrounds and cultures, with a particular focus on health and education messages.
North Queensland Cowboys
|Cloncurry Footy Families |
Obe Geia Challenge
Partnering with the PCYC, the Cowboys are working to address juvenile crime by offering children productive and fun ways to occupy their time through a range of Rugby League activities. The club is also seeking to further develop a Rugby League competition on Palm Island that has contributed substantially to the community.
Blue & Gold Heart Deadly Program – “Our Community, Our Future”
Targeted at the New England region this initiative focuses on closing the gap and encouraging the Indigenous community to make positive lifestyle choices.
A mobile classroom delivered through primary schools with the objective of making a positive impact for local youth and disadvantaged groups in the areas of education, health and mentoring.
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Souths Cares Teachers Aide and Workplace Mentoring
A health, education, training and employment program that is delivered by players directly to the community.
St George-Illawarra Dragons
|Positive Behaviour for Success |
PCYC Footy Fever Program
Health, education and mentoring initiatives aimed at local youth and a particular focus on the female audience.
“Stick with It” program
A project that is focused on students with the aim of developing and nurturing their health, education and lifestyle goals.
Stars with Stripes
Targeting Indigenous communities in Western Sydney, this program promotes positive lifestyle choices.
One Community Programs that will be run across the game and in conjunction with clubs throughout 2010.
While not directly funded through the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars, these programs provide important resources for NRL clubs and are promoted across Rugby League.
Eat Well Play Well Stay Well
In 2009, One Community launched a national health program – Eat Well Play Well Stay Well, using the profile of the game to help address the problem of childhood obesity.
The program has already successfully enabled Rugby League and its players to communicate positive health messages to children and families and to assist Rugby League Development Officers in promoting the positive impact of sport on children and parents.
A number of clubs have detailed plans to fund Eat Well Play Well Stay Well programs through both Indigenous and non Indigenous communities with the assistance of Harvey Normal Rugby League All Stars funding.
One Community will also continue to expand the reach of its existing Eat Well Play Well Stay well projects across all areas.
Rugby League Reads
Rugby League Reads is a literacy program that uses the profile and popularity of Rugby League to encourage children to read. The program sees NRL players and Australian Rugby League Development Officers visit schools across Australia to deliver the message that reading is not only beneficial for literacy and general education, it’s also fun and a great way to relax.
Rugby League Reads is an all-year-round program that has achieved amazing results in all areas but particularly in encouraging those with reading difficulties to enter a world that many of us take for granted.
Rugby League Reads incorporates an on-line book club and writing competitions for kids with reading activity sheets to aid teachers and parents.
NRL players and Development Officers visit schools throughout the year to read aloud to students and hand out Rugby League Reads bookmarks, posters and book-charts.
This year the program will partner with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Professor Suzan Hirsh to provide Rugby League Reads curriculum based resources for early readers. The ACU will research the impact of using Rugby League in the classroom to engage children in reading.
Again the Harvey Norman Rugby League All Stars match will allow a number of clubs to expand the program within their community and to target Indigenous children.
Dream, Believe, Achieve
As part of the All Stars launch, the NRL is pleased to announce a special new initiative in collaboration with University of Technology Sydney’s Australian Centre for Child & Youth.
The 'Dream, Believe, Achieve' program, in partnership with the UTS’s Australian Centre for Child and Youth, will develop teaching resources suitable for the high school curriculum in personal development and health.
Complementing the recently released NRL's 'Eat Well Play Well Stay Well' Primary Teachers Resource, and with the support of a national network of ARL Development Officers, it is expected the 'Dream, Believe, Achieve' resource will be rolled out during 2010 throughout Australian high schools.
Students will be encouraged to build healthy lifestyles and positive ways to find and achieve their dreams. They will receive a special work kit that will accompany a ‘Dream, Believe, Achieve’ schools video which will feature NRL players delivering healthy, motivating messages for young people.
About One Community
One Community was established in 2006 to assist in coordinating the many community activities that have always been a part of Rugby League.
One Community brings together all parts of the game both through community programs and by recognising and encouraging volunteers, women in Rugby League, and grassroots clubs.
One Community also works to assist NRL Clubs with their individual charity programs.
With government, nutrition and education experts, One Community has developed important school and community programs that make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Each year One Community works with a number of selected charities to raise both awareness and funds. In 2010 these include Life Education, Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, McGrath Foundation, Cancer Council, White Ribbon Foundation, Men of League Foundation and The Australian Red Cross Blood Service.
The One Community Awards and One Community Christmas parties are season highlights that bring together the stars of the NRL, the grassroots of the game and those in need in the community.