Gallop pays tribute to players and Development Officers

NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, today paid tribute to the hundreds of NRL players and development officers who have helped set the scene for the most exciting opening to a Rugby League season in memory.

As the historic Harvey Norman All Stars match prepares to kick-off tomorrow night on the Gold Coast, NRL players today remain scattered across the country delivering an ‘Eat Well Play Well Stay Well’ health message to more than 100,000 young Australians in communities stretching from Perth in Western Australia, to Emerald in Queensland, Tamworth in NSW and Rotorua in New Zealand.

Today’s vast footprint of coaching clinics and school and hospital visits highlights the scope of a Community Carnival that this week has touched the lives of families in more than 400 schools and in 78 communities.

While tomorrow’s Harvey Norman All Stars match will signal the official end of the Community Carnival, NRL clubs will continue to engage with communities across the country as part of pre-season trials and through their ongoing community and charity work.

“The players and development officers have done an outstanding job and been wonderful ambassadors for our game,” Mr Gallop said today.

“Each year the Community Carnival reminds us of how much Rugby League touches people’s lives and tomorrow’s All Stars match will be a celebration of the amazing work the players and clubs do, not just during Community Carnival but throughout the year.”

 All monies raised from the Harvey Norman 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.

It’s a commitment that will leave a lasting legacy across the country – as did today’s activities.

Broncos stars Corey Parker, Nick Kenny, Ashton Sims and Antonio Winterstein took to the airwaves with students of the Capricornia School of Distance Education in Emerald, asking and answering questions about health, training and footy for an audience that stretches across western and central Queensland.

“It was certainly something different to what we have experienced before. It gave us a bit of a buzz and the kids as well,” Parker said.

“The kids up here in all the places we have visited have been wonderful, their manners, the way they have listened to the Eat Well Play Well Stay Well message, it’s been great.”

While their Roosters club-mates visited schools across Atherton, in Queensland, Jason Ryles and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves teamed up with Warriors stars such as Steve Price, Brent Tate and Sam Rapira to visit schools and hospitals in Rotorua.

In Perth, FuiFui MoiMoi and Krisnan Inu were among the Eels stars to host a coaching clinic at Ken Allen Field while, in Tamworth, Knights players including Scott Dureau, Matt Hilder, Jarrod Mullen, George Ndaira, Steve Simpson, Mark Taufua, Evarn Tuimavave and Cooper Vuna  visited schools before hosting a coaching clinic at Scully Park.