Souths Cares and the South Sydney Rabbitohs flew in to the State’s Central West last Sunday to engage young students in their Indigenous Oral Health Care Program.
Souths Cares General Manager, Brock Schaefer said that on this visit to rural and regional NSW, his team would be making an effort to engage more of the community than they previously had.
“Over the coming days, Souths Cares, with Beau Champion as its Ambassador, will be engaging around 1,200 students with the program, but before we do, we will be visiting a number of community-based organisations, especially those that focus on the marginalised, disadvantaged and Indigenous members of society,” said Brock.
“Today, Beau Champion and Rabbitohs NRL Squad member, Cameron McInnes, did just that by visiting inmates at Wellington Correctional Centre.
“The Indigenous, minimum security inmates greeted the boys with a warm Welcome to Country and traditional dance, that included creation and hunting dances.
“After we shared a BBQ lunch, Beau and Cameron joined the inmates for an enthusiastically played game of touch football.
“The pace of the game was impressive especially given it took place during early afternoon when the temperature had reached 40 degrees.”
Following the game, Champion addressed the inmates on the topic of resilience, reflecting on his professional football career.
“Sharing some insights into his life journey and the methods he used to overcome any setback he encounte
red during his playing career, Beau talked passionately about motivation, persistence and the rewards those habits can bring,” added Brock.
After a tour of the Correctional Centre, the Rabbitohs were invited to meet a number of inmates from maximum security.
“Beau and Cam were well received by the inmates who were obviously happy to have them visit,” said Brock.
“The boys felt comfortable greeting the prisoners and they did a lot of signing – some of which included some dot paintings.
“The whole afternoon was a really unique experience for the inmates but also for Beau and Cam.
“It’s important for Souths Cares to keep working in and for the community, but just as important is for our Rabbitohs to share that experience.
“The more we embed these types of activities into our player experience with our great Club, the more it will become ingrained into our culture.
“It was a very special way for our boys to give back to the community and it’s with thanks to the Department of Corrective Services and Correctional Centre Manager, Mr Peebles, for their support in allowing us access to the inmates.”
“From Monday more Rabbitohs joined in the community events with Kyle Turner and Josh Ellison’s involvement strengthening our ability to engage the students in our drink well, eat well and clean well messages.
“Thanks to ongoing sponsorship from the Centre for Oral Health Strategy (NSW Health) and Colgate, and the support of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and CW Local Health District, Souths Cares is well positioned to educate these young students on good oral health care practices and the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.”
Brock’s team will continue their tour of the region by travelling to Parkes, Orange and Cowra.