Proceeds from the 'Poppy Appeal' Remembrance Day fundraiser will partially go towards Veteran Sport Australia, which has close ties to the NRL via the 'Battlefields to Footy Fields' refereeing initiative.
A partnership between the NRL and Veteran Sport Australia, Battlefields to Footy Fields helps reintegrate defence forces veterans into general society through rugby league officiating.
As in the defence forces, officiating allows veterans to become a valued member of a team and requires them to make snap decisions – all while gaining new skills and earning extra income.
Veterans who engage in Battlefields to Footy Fields undertake an NRL officiating course that includes Vocational Education and Training aspects. They then start out officiating in park competitions.
The NRL provides uniforms, access to mentors and covers insurance, association fees and equipment costs, with pathways extending to the professional ranks.
Program graduates Troy Burgess and Jake White officiated the match between the Australian and New Zealand defence force teams at AAMI Park as the curtain-raiser to the annual Storm v Warriors NRL Anzac Day clash.
As one of two vital yearly fundraisers alongside the Anzac Appeal, the Poppy Appeal helps ensure our veterans can utilise financial assistance, counselling and other important services.
Make a donation to the Poppy Appeal in the lead up to Remembrance Day on November 11 here.