Souths Cares’ Gift of Giving recently reached into the heart of Western Sydney when students from Cherrybrook Public School enjoyed a Rabbitohs Primary educational health session in Penrith.

In partnership with Life Education NSW, Souths Cares recently opened their new training rooms at Colyton as part of the Gift of Giving campaign.

Brock Schaefer, General Manager of the Souths Cares, said there are a number of reasons why they have extended their Program to outside of their traditional catchment.

“Our decision to make the Program more accessible to students in Western Sydney was two-fold,” said Brock.

“Not only was it in response to community demand but it was also a simple way of giving-back to our supporters from that area.

“Rabbitohs Primary deliver a number of health modules that focus issues around food and nutrition, personal safety, physical activity, cyber safety, safety with medicine and legal drugs; tobacco, alcohol and caffeine.

“The 24 Cherrybrook students participated in the “On The Case” smoking prevention program, which explore the risks associated with tobacco use and incorporates a number of Indigenous resources.

“All learning modules aligned with the National School Curriculum.

 “The range is quite broad and that is why our education facilitators ensure that each class attend two sessions per year.

“The initial session is centred on learning and the second is to reinforce the learning and correct any misinformation and misinterpretations.

“The sessions are always delivered in a positive and fun way, encouraging students to feel comfortable in discussing the issues openly.

“Our facilitators, Lisa and Sally, are very experienced educators and have a number of innovative approaches they use to deliver the sessions,” Brock said.

The students were surprised to see former Rabbitohs legend Nathan Merritt participating in their session.

“Having Nathan working in community as a Souths Cares Ambassador has really assisted in engaging students in their learning,” said Brock.

“Nathan shared some of his experience on how to stay healthy and active, and his journey - how he achieved his dreams of playing NRL football.

“I can say that the students from Year 5 really enjoyed the experience and they will definitely be coming back in 2016 to participate in further sessions.

“Despite the newness of our Western Sydney program we already have four schools booked for next year and we are hoping to see those numbers steadily increase.”

Brock concluded by saying the Rabbitohs Primary Program is open to all Year 5 and 6 students from both public and private schools.

Any teacher wishing to find out more about access to the free Program should email Souths Cares at southscares@rabbitohs.com.au