NRL players spend over 22,000 hrs in community

Eels stars Jarryd Hayne and Nathan Hindmarsh were among 30 NRL players at the annual Sydney Charity Christmas Party yesterday, capping a memorable year for rugby league’s One Community which has seen players spend over 22,000 hours caring for and inspiring those in the community. <br><br> The Christmas Party at AMF Bowling at North Strathfield is the second of four being held in four states over a two-week period, marking the end of a bumper year of community activities including charity and hospital visits, school reading sessions, coaching clinics and junior carnivals. The first Christmas Party was held in Brisbane last week; and the final parties will be in Canberra and Melbourne next Wednesday. <br><br> Yesterday's party involved players from the nine Sydney NRL clubs hosting a Christmas lunch and game of ten-pin bowling for the children from Camp Quality, the PCYC, Lifestart, the Exodus Foundation and Wollongong Hospital, followed by a special visit from Santa Claus. <br><br> “It was a great opportunity for the kids and the players to get together and have some fun,” Parramatta captain Nathan Hindmarsh said. <br><br> “Bowling was a fantastic idea for this year’s event – the kids loved it, the players loved it and we all got to meet Santa at the end.” <br><br> Camp Quality carer, Eric Trad, said: “In 2010 alone Rugby League has done more for our Camp Quality children than any sport to date. <br><br> “We are thrilled with the dedication of the NRL players, they have made a lasting impression with the children and definitely enriched their young lives. <br><br> “Of particular note is young Michael Dowsell who upon first meeting the Manly Sea Eagles players this year had a new lease on life. <br><br> “Today finishes an amazing year of support from rugby league.”