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NRL Chief Executive, David Gallop, today joined NSW Premier Kristina Keneally to encourage students across the state to participate in Rugby League and, indeed, other sports as part of a State Government program to highlight the importance of regular physical activity.

Mr Gallop joined the Premier, Minister for Sport and Recreation Kevin Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Karyn Paluzzano, Rugby League’s One Community ambassador Mario Fenech and Rabbitohs Eddy Pettybourne, Fetuli Talanoa and Kane Morgan for a game of Backyard League at Tempe High School to launch the 2010 Premier’s Sporting Challenge, which Rugby League’s One Community will support as Principal Sponsor for the third consecutive year.

The Premier’s Sporting Challenge commences in Term 2 and as Principal Sponsor, Rugby League’s One Community will help take important healthy lifestyle messages to more than 220,000 primary and secondary school students, and 1,000 schools across the state.

“The NRL and Rugby League’s One Community are proud to be continuing our partnership with the NSW Premier’s Sporting Challenge,” said NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop, at today’s launch.

“Rugby League is usually in the business of attracting sponsors, but in this case we are pleased to be the Principal Sponsor, as the Premier’s Sporting Challenge shares the same health and wellbeing objectives as our own programs.

“Like the NSW Government, we want to see all young people leading active and healthy lives and our own One Community programs such as ‘Eat Well Play Well Stay Well’ for primary schools and ‘Dream Believe Achieve’ for high schools are working to achieve this.

“The partnership is an effective way to work with the State Government to get as many children as possible to make being active and leading a healthy lifestyle something they do every day.”

The Premier’s Sporting Challenge comprises Primary and Secondary Sporting Challenges, with participating students encouraged to reach pre-determined levels of physical activity over a 10-week period.

Through their participation in the program, students will also have the opportunity to meet Premier’s Sporting Challenge Ambassadors including the Eels’ Nathan Hindmarsh and the Dragons’ Brett Morris, and attend some of the NRL’s biggest games.

“Our sponsorship reflects a strong commitment by Rugby League to support participating students and schools throughout the program,” said NRL Director of Community Relations, Ms Trish Crews.

“Ambassadors Nathan Hindmarsh and Brett Morris will be out speaking to students to inspire them to be active regularly; clinics like Backyard League, played at today’s launch, will allow boys and girls of all ages and sizes to be active together; and NRL ticket and merchandise incentives will help encourage children to participate in the Premier’s Sporting Challenge.”

The Premier’s Sporting Challenge was first launched in 2007 and since then, 232,000 students have participated in the initiative.

Rugby League’s One Community has been the Principal Sponsor of the Premier’s Sporting Challenge since 2008.
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