Parramatta hero Nathan Hindmarsh has thrown his considerable heart behind the Integral Energy NSWRL Western Sydney Academy, signing on as a key adviser to one of Rugby League’s biggest heartlands.
The 2009 Ken Stephen Medal winner and four-time winner of the Provan-Summons Medal as the most popular player in the game, Hindmarsh has vowed to use his experience and profile to ensure future generations of children continue to enjoy playing the game as much as he does.
Hindmarsh’s appointment comes on the day that the four NRL clubs supporting the Integral Energy NSWRL Western Sydney Academy – the Bulldogs, Panthers, Wests Tigers and Eels – join forces for a Western Sydney coaching clinic blitz that will involve more than 2000 children and some of the game’s biggest stars.
Hindmarsh will work as a development and strategy co-ordinator, assisting with coaching and skills clinics, attracting new volunteers and continuing his community work across the region.
“For me, it’s all about making sure kids have fun playing Rugby League,” Hindmarsh said today.
“I have always loved playing footy, it’s a great game and a great way to make friends, and I’m excited to have the chance to help the kids in Western Sydney enjoy those same experiences.
“This is the biggest junior nursery in our game and the Academy here does some amazing work so to be able to play a role in its future is an exciting opportunity for me.”
Integral Energy NSWRL Western Sydney Academy General Manager, Greg Mitchell, said Hindmarsh “is someone who truly represents the Western Sydney community.”
“Nathan has played his entire career in the area, he is passionate about the game and he wants to ensure all children can play Rugby League in a safe and fun environment,” Mitchell said.
“He has starred for Parramatta, NSW and Australia but his reach extends well beyond the field because of his tireless community and charity work.
“Only Rugby League has a bond like that with the Western Sydney community and Nathan’s involvement reflects the values of the game’s academy programs.”
The Western Sydney community has embraced the Academy, which officially re-launched last season to now service four of the game’s 16 NRL clubs, four NSW Cup sides, seven out of the eight participating Bundaberg Red Cup teams and which in 2010 has welcomed the Canterbury-Bankstown Junior Rugby League into its ranks.
Such has been the success of the Academy, Integral Energy has renewed its naming-rights sponsorship, while the NSW Government has committed a significant portion of a $1.9 million junior Rugby League development grant to the Western Sydney region for the fencing of grounds, upgrading of lighting, new seating, canteen facilities and other maintenance and development programs.
Hindmarsh is one of a host of NRL stars who today will be part of the Western Sydney Blitz – a joint coaching clinic between the Eels, Bulldogs, Wests Tigers and Panthers being held as part of the game’s Community Carnival.
Petero Civoniceva, Chris Lawrence, Daniel Mortimer, Luke Lewis, Keith Galloway, FuiFui MoiMoi, Michael Ennis, Frank Pritchard and Jason Cayless will be among the Bulldogs, Wests Tigers, Panthers and Eels stars at clinics and Backyard League demonstrations at Belmore Oval, CUA Stadium, Parramatta Stadium and Bradbury Oval, Campbelltown.
In a unified approach, players from each club will be in attendance at each of the four clinics.
The Western Sydney Blitz is part of a Community Carnival that will bring the game’s ‘Eat Well Play Well Stay Well’ message to more than 100,000 young Australians.
More than 500 NRL players and development officers are visiting 400 schools in 78 communities this week stretching from Sydney to Perth, into far north Queensland, New Zealand and throughout rural and regional NSW and Queensland.
|Nathan Hindmarsh |
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