NRL clubs adopt a town in flood initiative - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL clubs adopt a town in flood initiative

Wayne Heming 17/02/2011 02:36:29 PM Comments (0)

After being among the first sporting codes to join the massive clean-up effort, rugby league on Thursday launched more initiatives to help Queensland communities affected by the recent forces of nature.

While the QRL announced it would waive all registration fees for junior rugby league players in the state whose families were affected by the floods and cyclone Yasi, the NRL launched an Adopt-a-Club or town program involving all its 16 teams.

Premiers St George Illawarra have already started on the initiative, adopting the Queensland township of St George and the surrounding towns of Chinchilla and Dalby.

NRL chief executive David Gallop called on interstate clubs from the grassroots up to get involved in the program to help get young kids back playing rugby league and families back on their feet.

The NRL will pay for an additional day's accommodation so visiting teams from the competition can travel to Queensland a day earlier or stay a day longer to help their adopted club or town in any way they can.

The QRL's decision to waive junior fees of players whose families are still struggling to recover from the damage wreaked by floods and cyclonic winds could save each individual up to $200.

Gallop said the speed in which rugby league players reacted and got out into the communities to assist with the clean-up and also raise funds through the recent Legends Origin game and All Stars game showed how deeply they cared.

Players from Penrith and the Bulldogs were among the first travel to Brisbane last month to pitch in.

Bulldogs hooker Michael Ennis said he was deeply moved by what he and team mates witnessed as the first members of the public allowed back into the devastated Grantham district, destroyed by an inland tsunami which left very little standing.

"People have had their lives heavily affected, many of them rugby league people," said Gallop.

"I expect every club will get involved.

"We (NRL) will pick up theextra night's accommodation when teams come up to Queensland to play so they can get involved in some community work in their adopted towns and with clubs."

"Over the last few years there's been a recognition that our players are community minded and they do want to make a positive difference to people's lives.

"Sometimes that goes unheralded and unnoticed but when something like the floods and cyclone happens our players are amongst the first people to put up their hand and say they want to help."

Queensland rugby league icon Mal Meninga said rugby league was doing everything it could to help victims of the twin disasters.

"We want kids back outside with some normality in their lives with their mates playing footy and away from thinking about what they've been through," said Meninga.

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