The Canberra Raiders are in the process of relocating their NRL squad for 10 days commencing this Thursday (January 9) to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, to combat the hazardous conditions due to the bushfire smoke in Canberra.
The current smoke conditions from the surrounding bushfires has made training in Canberra unsafe, with the club deciding to move training to ensure the health and safety of the playing group as they prepare for the 2020 season.
Training for the commencement of this week will be limited to the use of local indoor facilities, with outside training only to occur when the club doctor has given the approval to do so based on air quality.
The clubs top 30 will relocate for the 10-day camp, with the remaining members of the squad staying in Canberra and training at suitable indoor facilities.
Raiders CEO Don Furner said the relocation would enable the NRL squad to train in a safe and healthy environment.
“With the prolonged effects of the current bushfire situation and the hazardous conditions due to smoke here in Canberra, we’ve made the decision to relocate training for a period to allow the playing group to prepare as best they can for the season without putting their health or safety at risk,” Furner said.
Furner said the club was also working with the NRL to determine the best way the club and game could support the fundraising efforts for families affected by bushfires, with an announcement to be made once finalised.
“First of all, we would like to commend the Rural Fire Service for the continued efforts they have sustained in fighting these bushfires in what has been a very tough and trying period,” Furner said. “There are several communities very close to Canberra including the South Coast and Riverina regions which have been impacted heavily during these fires and the club is working with the NRL on a way to best support these communities.”