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Raiders help launch  Fit For Life program

The Canberra Raiders attended the Fit For Life program launch at the PCYC in Queanbeyan on Thursday morning, with players and staff joining in the activities.

In partnership with PCYC and the NSW Police Force, the program supports young people who are at risk of anti-social behaviour or criminal offending through physical fitness and social engagement, while developing confidence, life skills and positive influences.

NRL Wellbeing Manager Andrew Bishop said the program was a great way for the Raiders to start re-connecting with the community.

"After a challenging few years with COVID-19 it's great for the club to start being involved again with the community and in particular young people in our region," Bishop said.

"The partnership with the NSW Police is important to the Club and the Raiders were well represented this morning with Harley Smith Shields, Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Semi Valemei and a range of other younger NRL players.

"This morning was the start of the Pilot Program with future expansion into other PCYC’;s in our Region. Parramatta, Manly and Penrith are also participating in the Program."

The Fit4Life programs are delivered across NSW year-round, and already includes Police from Youth Command, PCYC staff as well as involvement from Police specialist Commands.

Planning is already underway to include other sporting codes, and has gained commitment from the NRL, NSW Rugby League, the AFL, Cricket NSW, NSW Rugby and A-League soccer. This will allow the partnership to spread across NSW and run at metropolitan, regional and remote PCYC locations, enabling the program to reach youth across all of NSW.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Paul Toole said the initiative would help to drive down current and future incidents of youth crime.

“This initiative is another important element that the NSW Police Force is deploying to address the issue of youth crime,” Mr Toole said.

“While officers will continue to make daily arrests and run high visibility operations in high-risk areas, prevention and redirection of the youth is key to instilling a sense of responsibility and accountability in young people.

“To prevent criminal offending from occurring, we need to provide young people with another way to spend their time and energy and connect them with mentors and ambassadors who they can relate to.”

PCYC Chief Executive Officer Dominic Teakle said the new partnership with sporting codes would strengthen Fit for Life programs and help put a stop to young people from making poor choices.

“Through physical fitness, nutrition and social engagement, Fit For Life aims to improve overall wellbeing as well as prevent and divert youth from offending behaviours,” Mr Teakle said.

“Having a role model to look up to is one of the most important things that can shape a young person’s future. These sporting ambassadors will help to illustrate that hard work and commitment to a positive cause is worthwhile.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.