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The Canberra Raiders NRL Squad has spent Monday morning in Canberra visiting 24 schools and hundreds of students, as part of the NRL’s League Stars Inspire Program.

Former Canberra Raiders Captain Alan Tongue has been an integral part of developing the new program, which will focus on three key areas; respect, resilience and health and wellbeing over a three-year period.

Today’s program was focussed on respect, with the Raiders players spread out across the community to help deliver the important message of respect using rugby league. The program also gives participants the opportunity to be introduced to the NRL League Stars program, which is being delivered in Canberra by the clubs NRL Development Officers.

Alan Tongue said it was wonderful to have the Raiders involved in delivering the new program and assisting in delivering this important message among the community.

“Today was all about delivering the respect message. It’s the first year of delivering this program and by using rugby league we can get a really important social message to these children,” Tongue said. “We know how important it is to show respect in a team environment and a rugby league club, but we also believe it’s important for young people and an integral part of their development, so being able to combine these two is so important.

“Having the Raiders involved gives the program some wonderful voices who can share their experiences.”

Raiders forward Sia Soliola said it was wonderful for the club to be out in the school community today delivering the program and share some of the team’s own experiences.

“The way Alan puts these programs together and delivers it is awesome and it makes it really easy for us players to come out and get involved and help pass on some of our knowledge,” Soliola said. “The connection we have with the region not only here at Harrison but across the community is great and we can spread some great messages about respect and wellbeing, while including rugby league as well is really fun.”