The South Sydney Rabbitohs are delighted to be supporting Men of League during the NRL’s Men of League Round, this being round 20 on Monday night against the Sea Eagles.
Men of League Chairman and Co-Founder, and Rabbitohs living legend, Ron Coote AM, explains how the Men of League Foundation started.
“The Men of League started way back in 2002 when a group of us got together and came up with the idea,” Mr Coote said.
“We had our first function at the NSW Leagues Club with all of our friends who were Rugby League supporters and people.
“We asked them about coming to this function so as we could talk about helping our mates.
“I was in Milton Hospital visiting Doug McRitchie who was a great in the ‘50s with St George.
“It was pretty sad to see this old guy in hospital suffering late stages of prostate cancer and if Rugby League people knew that he was here they would be able to turn up and say hello to him and try to cheer him up a bit.”
And from those humble beginnings, the Men of League Foundation has grown into a multi-million dollar foundation that supporters thousands of people.
“We’ve got 500 volunteers and we have 42 branches,” Mr Coote explained.
“The volunteers, they’re the life blood of our organisation. They’re golden as far as we’re concerned.
“Of the 42 branches, they all run three or four functions a year, to raise money.
“We’ve raised and spent $4 million on people in the Rugby League world who have fallen on hard times.”
Another former Rabbitohs who is involved in the Men of League Foundation is Ben Ross, Men of League Foundation’s Welfare Manager.
Mr Ross said it is all about bringing joy and hope to people’s lives.
“Predominantly most committees have one or two welfare officers that go and make visits to hospitals, nursing homes, and home visits,” Mr Ross said.
“Last year, documented visits were over 2,500 people that we touched directly and it’s the joy that we bring to people’s lives that is the big thing that we talk about.
“Last year we raised over $1 million worth of donations from our committee events.
“We’re always looking for volunteers.
“It doesn’t matter whether you can give half-an-hour of your time once-a-month, the benefit that you will bring to someone’s life…will change the Rugby League community for the better.”
In the video housed in the video player on this page, Ben tells the wonderful story of Harry Bowes, a Queensland fan who is dealing with a tumour which is wrapped around his spine.
To watch this story and the full video about Men of League, press play on the video player.
If you want to help support the Men of League Foundation simply head to the gates at Monday night’s game at Allianz Stadium, where Men of League Foundation staff will be collecting donations, or you can donate or join the Men of League Foundation by:
* Website: www.menofleague.com
* Phone: 02 8765 2232
* Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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