Rugby League legends and Souths Cares Ambassadors, Rhys Wesser and Nathan Merritt, visited Cairns last week to inspire the Mossman, Yarrabah and Mareeba communities in the lead up to the forthcoming NRL clash between the Rabbitohs and Raiders on Sunday, 26 April at Barlow Park.
With their professional playing days behind them, Rhys and Nathan were actively involved in engaging the community on their visit by inspiring local youth through their participation in a number of Rugby League development clinics.
“I always enjoy coming back home to Queensland and to be promoting the NRL in these communities is a great opportunity for us to inspire young students to lead healthy and active lifestyles,” said Rhys.
“At Souths Cares we are focussed on giving back to the community and it’s something we love to do.
“Rugby League is a great vehicle for the promotion of healthy lifestyles.”
Rhys and Nathan travelled to Mossman where they spent two hours delivering a clinic to around 40 eager primary school-aged students.
“Apart from loads of enthusiasm, many of the young students demonstrated some great ball-skills,” said Rhys.
“We also conducted another clinic at Mareebra, which was also well attended by primary and high school students,” Rhys said.
The Souths Cares ambassadors also visited Yarrabah Mission and assisted Queensland’s The Northern Pride Rugby League Football Club deliver a football clinic.
Around 50 Indigenous students aged between 6-12 years participated in the event.
“Working with the community in this way is always an enjoyable experience,” said Merritt.
“Inspiring young Rugby League players and supporters to achieve their dreams is one way I can personally give back to community and the game – both of which have given me so much.”
Nathan added that the Rabbitohs have a lot of supporters in Cairns and are looking to consolidate that fan-base.
“The Rabbitohs are just about everyone’s second team and by spending time in the community, supporting young students and promoting the game – we will hopefully encourage even more fans to get behind us.”
Both Rhys and Nathan wanted to acknowledge and thank the Mossman Sharks, Mareebra Gladiators and the Northern Pride clubs for their support and assistance during the visit.
“With people and clubs like these involved in Rugby League then the game is in good hands in Queensland,” said Rhys.