On Monday the Souths Cares road show will hit a number of rural towns across the northern New South Wales region to spread the word about the importance of good oral hygiene and to host a number of student footy clinics.


Souths Cares will be taking their 'Clean well, Drink well!' message to regional New South Wales in an effort to raise awareness of good oral health and hygiene among our young, local students.


Rhys Wesser, former State of Origin and Rabbitohs Fullback and Souths Cares Mentor, said that due to the programs success across South Sydney schools, the campaign has been expanded to include a number regional NSW towns.


We are excited to be delivering the program to more than 1,000 students from local schools at Gullargambone, Walgett, Moree, Boggabilla, Toomellah and Inverell, said Wesser.


This means that Souths Cares will be well positioned to spread the key messages of the importance of regular teeth brushing, drinking plenty of tap water and making healthy food choices.


In partnership with the NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy, Colgate and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Wesser said that Souths Cares will also ensure there is an opportunity for the students families to participate.


While I am delivering the sessions to the students the Oral Health Van will be on site and fully staffed by a team of dentists, providing check-ups for all family members free of charge, said Wesser.


This initiative will be the first of its kind and is something Im keen to see rolled out to other regional areas.


Souths Cares and our partners would like to grow the program to include southern New South Wales and possibly the Central and Far West regions of the State.


We are also considering other innovative ways to deliver the program en masse using the latest technology.


This approach is only at the early stage. Our current focus is on encouraging the students to set up healthy oral care practises while theyre young and to remind them that its never too late to start looking after your teeth.


But the Souths Cares road show is not all about work and no play.


Wesser said on the day the students will also have the chance to participate in the Macquarie Foundation Football Clinics conducted by former Rabbitohs NRL players Mario Fenech, Dean Widders and Matt King.


With the assistance of the NRL, students from some school communities will participate in the Souths Cares Footy Clinic, said Wesser.


He said that the clinics have been designed to suit children of all ages and experience levels.


Children can begin playing competitive Rugby League from as young as six years of age and junior teams typically range from Under 6s through to Under 18s, Wesser said.


At the Souths Cares Footy Clinic, younger kids will have the fundamentals of the game; that is catching, passing and kicking; reinforced to them while the older students will work on other drills.


Rhys said that team sports and group activities not only provide an outlet for children to be active, but can also help with vital life-lessons in personal values, team work and relationship building skills.


Sport can play a large part in the development of motor-skills, cognitive development, listening skills and taking instructions, said Rhys.


It also assists in learning valuable social skills which can include co-operation, confidence building and respect for others.


Keep an eye on www.rabbitohs.com.au for updates from the Souths Cares visits next week.