Dogs a hit taking message to schools
Bulldogs players Josh Morris, Greg Eastwood and Graham Clark were a smash hit with kids from Condell Park Public School on Monday as they took the NRL's Wellbeing message to their local community.
The primary schoolers were abuzz at their first glimpse as their heroes entered the assembly hall around 12:30pm and gave a huge cheer and show of hands when asked if they were Bulldogs supporters (aside from one boy who shouted "Eels!" at the top of his lungs, bless his cotton socks. There's always one).
The Dogs players spoke to the kids about the importance of getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and eating properly.
For the fun stuff, they played a short trivia game where astute kids successfully named the Bulldogs mascot (Brutus), last year's top try scorer (Curtis Rona) and – eventually, by process of elimination – the number of premierships won by the Belmore club (eight).
"It's always good to get out to the schools in the local area. The kids really enjoy it and we put a smile on their faces," Morris told NRL.com after the session.
"I think it's a good message – wellbeing and being healthy and just some of the things we do, it's good to give back to the community.
"I think you remember as a kid when players used to come to your school you used to get a real buzz out of it and now we're able to do that and you know what the feeling is like. It's good to get out in the community and do this kind of stuff."
Eastwood has four young kids of his own and so is no stranger to keeping young kids in line.
"It's good to come see the kids. Just to spread the message is awesome, you've got to make sure you keep doing it so the kids don't go off the rails and stay in school," Eastwood said.
"For myself, I've got four kids and I've got to spread the message to them as well and hopefully we can [get through to] a few kids here."
With the side coming to the end of a season where coach Des Hasler is making sure his squad is ready for a year of reduced interchanges and shot clocks at scrums, Eastwood seemed glad for a day away from the training paddock.
"Today was a bit of a recovery day and we'll see what Des has in store for us tomorrow," he laughed.
"He's given us a few days off over this week just to prepare physically and mentally. Hopefully he eases up on the fitness this week!"