Titans help kids kick goals for charity
For Ashley Taylor it was a visit to his hometown of St George by Wayne Bennett and his iconic Broncos; Cameron Cullen remembers clearly the day he got to meet Allan Langer.
But on Monday the Titans pair were the stars of the show as they passed on tips to brothers Mitchell and Jake Gillard who are spending their school holidays raising awareness for the Kick4Kids charity.
A charitable foundation founded by Mitchell and Jake's dad, Dean Gillard, 12 years ago, Kick4Kids has used rugby league as a way to raise $150,000 for children's charities and this year intends to spread its wings throughout Australia in order to help even more children in need.
Mitchell and Jake have pledged to kick 1000 goals on a 1000 kilometre journey that started in Brisbane last Friday and will culminate at the Sharks' home ground of Southern Cross Group Stadium, the venue that has been host to Kick4Kids since its inception.
Junior clubs throughout Australia are being asked to dedicate one day in July to a Kick4Kids kick-a-thon in order to raise money for kids such as Chloe Saxby, whose parents are trying to raise $800,000 as she fights she extremely rare Vanishing White Matter disease.
"It's a pretty special thing that they're doing," Cullen said. "It's not something your average nine and 11-year-old do and for them to put a challenge of 1,000 goals and going out and achieving it for a good cause is a pretty special thing.
"I remember meeting Alfie Langer and he was someone that I really looked up to as a kid and doing a development thing with Alfie was pretty special for me as a halfback."
Taylor also spoke glowingly of the boys and their commitment to charity and encouraged other junior clubs to get involved in Kick4Kids this July.
"If I would have known about it when I was a kid I would have jumped on it as well," Taylor said.
"Getting to go around to all different teams and kicking goals; it's great to be out here with the young boys and raising money is great.
"The Broncos came out to St George when I was young and we went through a few training drills and stuff and as soon as it clicked that was my dream, to play for the Broncos, play for Queensland and play for Australia."
The Gillard boys began their odyssey by spending time with Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday at Red Hill last Friday and after stops at Aspley Devils, Nerang Roosters, Burleigh Bears and the Titans will kick more goals at Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Heads, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Cronulla in the coming days.
Founder Dean Gillard said that by involving a greater number of clubs this year Kick4Kids will be able to achieve even more charitable goals.
"We're going to invite every football club across Australia to host their own Kick4Kids day," Mr Gillard said.
"I've been doing it down at Cronulla-Caringbah and at Terrigal but my vision is for as many clubs as we can get to take part. That way instead of trying to raise a lot of money in one area we can raise a little bit of money in a lot of areas and help even more sick kids."
For more information on Kick4Kids visit www.kick4kids.net.au.