Today, the Souths Cares’ road show will leave Redfern to visit a number of rural centres in the New England region of New South Wales to promote the importance of good oral hygiene and host a number of NRL Rugby League clinics.
Souths Cares will be taking their “Clean well, Drink well!” message to regional NSW in an effort to raise awareness of good oral health and hygiene among young, local Indigenous students.
Rhys Wesser, former State of Origin and Rabbitohs fullback and Souths Cares Mentor, said that due to the program’s success across South Sydney, the North West, South Coast, Southern Highlands, North Coast and Northern Tablelands of NSW, the campaign has been expanded to include parts of northern NSW.
“We are excited to be delivering the program to more than 1100 students from local schools around the Glen Innes, Armidale, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Quirindi regions,” said Rhys.
“This means that Souths Cares are well positioned to spread the key messages 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, Rhys said that Souths Cares will also ensure there is an opportunity for the students to familiarise themselves with visiting the dentist.
“While I am delivering the education sessions to the students, the Poche Centre’s Oral Health Van will be onsite delivering a ‘Day in the Life of a Dentist’ program,” said Rhys.
“The Poche Centre’s qualified staff will be familiarising students with the equipment, tools and clothing that dentists and dental staff typically use during a visit.
“By doing this we hope the students will be less reluctant to visit the dentist when they are suffering from any dental problems.
“This Souths Cares initiative is unique and something we are keen to see rolled out to other regional areas.
“Souths Cares and our partners would like to grow the program to include the Central West of the State.
“Our current focus is to encourage the students to develop healthy oral care habits while they’re young and to remind them that it’s never too late to start looking after your teeth.”
Rhys said students will also have the chance to participate in Rugby League clinics conducted by the NRL and former Rabbitohs Legend, Nathan Merritt and Kirisome Auva'a.
“With the assistance of the NRL, students will participate in an NRL Rugby League Clinic in each town,” said Rhys.
“The NRL Rugby League 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.
“At the NRL Rugby League Clinics younger students will have the fundamentals of the game such as catching, passing and kicking reinforced, while the older students will work on more developed skills.
“We are sure the students will learn a lot with the Rabbitohs and have an absolute ball doing so.”
Stay tuned to Rabbitohs.com.au to track Souths Cares’ road-trip this week through New England.