Stars of NRL to visit for annual 'Road to Regions' tour

ROAD TO REGIONS TOUR: St. George Illawarra Dragons' Euan Aitken to visit regional schools as part of 'Road to Regions' tour. Photo: NRL Images
ROAD TO REGIONS TOUR: St. George Illawarra Dragons' Euan Aitken to visit regional schools as part of 'Road to Regions' tour. Photo: NRL Images

As part of the National Rugby League’s annual ‘Road to Regions’ tour, St. George Illawarra Dragons’ Euan Aitken, Penrith Panthers’ Tim Grant, and New South Wales and Jillaroos’ Talesha Quinn, will visit Coolah, Dubbo, Dunedoo and Wellington this week.

The visit is part of the ‘Road to Regions’ tour that provides an opportunity for local communities to meet stars of the NRL ahead of the season.

During their visit, the stars will visit schools and conduct rugby league clinics.

NRL Head of Government and Community Relations Jaymes Boland-Rudder says the ‘Road to Regions’ tour gives the players as well as the game the opportunity to promote education and wellbeing across regional communities.

“The Road to Regions tour is a fantastic way for our players to say thank you to local communities for their support of rugby league, as well as an opportunity to impart important education messages around respect, positive mental wellbeing and empowering one another,” Mr Boland-Rudder said.

Many of our players hail from regional and rural parts of Australia and enjoy nothing more than hitting the road to return to regions that helped shape them to become the players they are today.

Jaymes Boland-Rudder

With over 95 junior rugby league clubs having taken part in the State of Mind grassroots program for 2018, the NRL will deliver it once again.

The four-step program uses the game’s reach, profile, clubs and players to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness, while increases participants understanding of mental health, stimulate help seeking behaviours, with the ultimate aim to reduce mental health stigma in each community.

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro says it is likely the NRL’s tour will have a significant impact on regional towns.

“We love seeing our footy stars in country New South Wales, growing the game and working with our junior rugby league kids and communities,” Mr Barilaro said.

With 99 per cent of the state still in drought and many of our communities doing it tough, there isn’t a better time for NRL players to hold workshops and events in regional and rural areas.

John Barilaro

The first visit will take place at Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Coolah on February 6 at 12pm, with Tim Grant..

Next will be Dunedoo Central School on February 6 at 2pm with Tim Grant.

An NRL Junior Rugby League Clinic will be held at Kennard Park, Wellington on February 7 at 4.30pm with Tim Grant, Euan Aitken and Talesha Quinn.

The last school visit will be at Dubbo South Public School on February 8 at 9.30am with Euan Aitken and Talesha Quinn.