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Steve Turner joined a host of former NRL stars to promote rugby league and anti-bullying in the Pilbara region of Western Australia

Last week I was fortunate enough to visit the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Having the opportunity to visit the Pilbara was certainly an eye-opener and one that I won’t forget. Mark Riddell and I had the luxury of spending four days in Port Headland from Thursday until Sunday.

Port Headland mines for iron ore and with plenty of ‘red dirt’ and mining sites around, the reality that we were in a mining town, seemed so far from the city life.

Not only did Mark and I visit the region, ex-players Shaun Timmins, Dean Young, Rhys Wesser and Adam MacDougall also spent time here during the week. We were all part of the NRL road show to promote Rugby League in the region as well as visit schools and talk about the tackle bullying campaign.

This campaign is a program that has been delivered across Australia in an aim to make school kids aware of the types of bullying, what they can do to prevent bullying, who they can talk to about bullying and how to eliminate bullying in schools and in society.

Well the four days that Mark and I spent in Port Headland were awesome! We had the opportunity to spend some time at the Junior League training with kids on Thursday night and attend a dinner with the Men in League, who do a wonderful job supporting those who are doing it tough. We both enjoyed a bit of karaoke after the dinner, too.

Friday was spent at schools during the day, followed by a four-hour fishing trip 25 kilometres off the coast land and although we both had heard the fishing was outstanding in the Pilbara region, neither Mark nor I caught anything! We had our hopes set on pulling in Barramundi, Mackerel, Cod and maybe even Salmon, but all we caught was the sunset.

Friday night we headed over to the home of the coach of the Port Headland Hawks under-10s side for a BBQ in which he cooked up a feast. Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell tucked in!

Saturday was game day for the Pilbara region. We had the opportunity to watch both the Junior League matches and senior matches, while in between we attended the Port Headland races. I must say I did not win much and considering the 400-metre straight is grass and the rest of the track is red dirt, it sure was an experience!

After the races and the footy we attended the Finny Club for the post-match commitments and Sunday was spent travelling back to Sydney.

A great experience and one I would love to be a part of again.

It seems to me WA is the place to be if we’re talking expansion!

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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