Involving themselves in the Community is something the Canberra Raiders players are passionate about and take seriously. Over the 2014 season we have seen Raiders players participating in over 450 appearances totalling more than 1,000 hours.
NRL stars David Shillington and Joel Edwards led the way this year with the most appearances for the Raiders alongside departing Raider Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.
Edwards was rewarded for his outstanding work with a nomination for One Community’s Ken Stephen Medal which Terry Campese won last year.
Players such as Joel not only attend events which the Raiders support as a club, they also go above and beyond, organising their own appearance through places such as the Starlight Foundation, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and St Johns Care to help provide a smile to the faces of those less fortunate.
Some of the community appearances the players have been involved in over the past year have included working alongside some of the clubs wonderful sponsors including McDonald’s (McHappy Day), Jersey’s Megastore, Huawei (Tour de Cure), DHA and Canberra Milk, with several other sponsor related community programs along the way.
The Raiders players also participated in the NRL’s Tackle Bullying campaign, which has been run by the Raiders NRL Development Officers, which reached out to over 10,000 children in Canberra and surrounding regions.
Former Captain Alan Tongue’s Dream, Believe, Achieve Program was also implemented in 2014, which involved ‘at risk’ Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians who participated in an 8 week program focussing on self-belief, team building and physical activities.
The Raiders held another of their highly popular Indigenous Health Days during the NRL’s Close the Gap round, which saw over 200 Indigenous kids participate in activities such as health checks, art, dance and football skills.
This event led into another special event in conjunction with Habitat Personnel, Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs, as the Raiders attempted to break the Guinness World Record for the largest ever 3-Legged Race. Although the World record was not achieved, the event had over 1,200 attendees and showcased the importance of Indigenous Health and the positive outcomes that come with bringing Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians together to help promote the Close the Gap cause.
The NRL Squad continued their close links with the local rugby league community in 2014, with appearances at all 15 of the clubs playing in the Canberra Region Rugby League Competition. The players helped to run skills, signed autographs, and gave junior players tips and encouragement to play in the correct spirit of the game.
With so many positive outcomes and stories from this season, we are looking to make our Community section even bigger, stronger and with more programs to offer next season.
Keep an eye out for the men in green in season 2015.