NRL Community Carnival visits will be in full flight throughout the months of February and early March, with players from the Canberra Raiders visiting their local surrounds to educate school students on the importance of wellbeing.

The Raiders entire NRL squad will visit 37 local schools on 23 February to help deliver wellbeing messages to local communities, with a particular focus on proper hydration and sleep and encouraging a strong sense of belonging.

Every NRL club, together with NRL ambassadors, will set out on the road over the next two months, visiting schools and communities right across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.

This is the sixteenth year of the NRL Community Carnival, with more than 250,000 students reached as part of Carnival visits in 2015. 

This year, clubs, players and ambassadors are estimated to travel more than 40,000kms, visit over 1,000 schools and conduct up to 80 Junior League clinics.

NRL Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Young, said the NRL Community Carnival visits were an opportunity for Rugby League to reach out to thousands of supporters and club fans in regional and remote areas and give back ahead of 2016 Telstra Premiership season.

“Our fans are the lifeblood of our game and our clubs and ambassadors do an amazing job in local communities right throughout the year, spending time with kids and educating them on the importance of eating well and staying healthy,” Ms Young said.

Players will be joined by NRL game development officers in delivering wellbeing programs to locals, which include interactive activities, together with educational resources.

Programs are curriculum linked and endorsed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), responsible for the national curriculum, assessment and reporting of students from Kindergarten to Year 12.

Raiders lock Shaun Fensom said he was looking forward to the trip and relaying some of the healthy tips that he follows as part of training on a day-to-day basis.

“As a player and as a person, it is really important that I keep my mind and my body healthy so that I am performing at my best,” Fensom said.

“I am looking forward at getting out to our local schools, meeting the children and providing people with some really simple tips to keep happy, healthy and active.”

Players and ambassadors will be armed with two education resources as part of local visits:

Ø  NRL Wellbeing: delivered to primary school students, focussing on empowering students to value health and wellbeing in their own lives.

Ø  Dream Believe Achieve: delivered to high school students, focussing on the important link between having hope and aspirations for the future and maintaining a positive wellbeing.