Players are plastered on the front pages when things go bad but rarely are they praised for things that they do off the field.
In a new weekly or fortnightly article, we plan to flip the switch and highlight all the good work that the NRL and its clubs are doing.
Whether it is community outreach, raising funds, a player going above and beyond to help, that will be our focus every week.
Our plan is to highlight six key community aspects each week from across the NRL that catch our eye.
The NRL’s School to Work Program
As much as the NRL is life for many indigenous athletes, so too is school an imperative part of their life and learning.
Sadly, a 25% gap currently exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students completing high school.
The NRL and Doordash have come together with the delivery provider putting forth a $25,000 scholarship.
This scholarship is designed to provide the Indigenous students with the items and assistance they need to achieve their goals.
The NRL’s School to Work program has been boosted by a $25,000 scholarship provided by @DoorDash to draw attention to the 25% gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students completing high school ?
— NRL (@NRL) November 11, 2021
Manly Sea Eagles help promote vaccinations in regional communities
As the world continues to reel with the impact of Covid, the Manly Sea Eagles are doing their part to raise crucial awareness for vaccinations.
The club has teamed up with the Poche Indigenous Health Network to increase awareness and encourage strong vaccinations rates, particularly among the Indigenous communities.
Sea Eagles legend Cliff Lyons, former player Joel Thompson, and both Tom and Jake Trbojevic, are the faces of the initiative.
Lyons and Thompson, who both hail from regional towns, know how important it is to ensure all communities have access to the vaccination.
We’ve teamed up with our Senior Partner Poche Centre for Indigenous Health to help increase awareness and encourage vaccinations amongst Aboriginal people, especially those living in remote communities throughout Australia.https://t.co/QpcxkzZXhw#ManlyForever pic.twitter.com/wr4CAEE2h5
— Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (@SeaEagles) November 12, 2021
Cronulla Sharks do their bit to boost Indigenous vaccination rates
With a large Indigenous community in the Sutherland Shire, the Cronulla Sharks did their bit to ensure that vaccinations rates continued to increase as Covid lingers.
The club took it upon itself to host a walk-in clinic this past week with the Aboriginal Health Unit at the South-Eastern Sydney LHD.
The Sharks already do great work through their Deadly Choices program and were asked to help drive the community towards vaccination for Covid.
The Sharks have been deeply involved in Indigenous programs within the Sutherland Shire and beyond for more than 10 years and are honoured to be hosting a @SEastSydHealth Indigenous vaccination clinic at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday 14 November.#UpUp
— Cronulla Sharks (@cronullasharks) November 11, 2021
New Zealand Warriors get behind the Pataka Kai cause
Best Foods, a commercial partner of the New Zealand Warriors have been joined by club ambassador Ruben Wiki to promote the Pataka Kai cause this month.
The cause enables and encourages food sharing with roughly 140 pantries across the nation go give Kiwis access to food instead of it going to waste.
Wiki has played his part by travelling around by dropping goods off at Pataka Kai pantries all over South Auckland.
Warriors Community Foundation ambassador and league legend Ruben Wiki has been giving @BestFoods a hand in supporting the growing p?taka kai initiative.
— Vodafone Warriors (@NZWarriors) November 16, 2021
The North Queensland Cowboys and the Resilience Project
The North Queensland Cowboys take school development very seriously and the Resilence Project is one they continue to build on across the region.
Most recently, former Cowboys player and club community programs officer Ray Thompson dropped by schools that showed an interest in the program.
The Resilence Project is backed by the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network and utilises many existing school networks to build resilience.
The project aims to achieve gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.
Canterbury Bulldogs do their bit to promote vaccinations in Belmore with drive-through clinic
Several clubs have introduced initiatives to encourage local communities to get vaccinated and the Canterbury Bulldogs are one of them.
Belmore, a hotspot for Covid cases during NSW’s Covid surge earlier this year, knew something had to change.
So a drive-through vaccination clinic was set up at Belmore Sports Ground to ensure the community was protected from Covid.
NSW Sports Minister Natalie Ward and local MP Wendy Lindsay were on hand to promote the clinic and praise the Bulldogs.
I was lucky enough to check out the @NRL_Bulldogs HQ in Belmore recently with Wendy Lindsay MP, and we both thanked them for their great community work in setting up a drive-through vax clinic. It’s been instrumental in encouraging locals to get the jab. pic.twitter.com/wAE0GK7dmF
— Natalie Ward (@natwardmlc) November 3, 2021