Black Rabbits putting in work off-field

While most people were getting ready for work or already out the door at 7am on Wednesday morning, a number of Rabbitohs players were down in Woolloomooloo hosting a breakfast for the less fortunate. 

Meet the Black Rabbits - a group of squad members doing their bit for the community off the field.

Community engagement is something that is a top priority for the Rabbitohs - after all, it's what makes up our great Club.

For those in the Black Rabbits - most of whom are in their early 20s - it's imperative to understand the South Sydney area and wider communities and to acknowledge the privilege of playing Rugby League for a living.

Along with a number of the coaching staff, the players traded the Steeden for tongs, providing bacon and eggs and mingling with the less fortunate in a bid to enhance their gratitude and community spirit. 

Twenty-year-old Adam Doueihi, currently recovering from an ACL tear after a strong debut season, pointed out the benefits of spending time out of a busy schedule to provide for the community.

"It keeps us level-headed and makes us realise how fortunate we are," Doueihi explained.

"The Black Rabbits meet up each week and go through different activities to teach us core life skills and to learn how to develop into senior players.

"To come down to events like this every now and then makes us feel good, but it makes these guys feel even better about their lives, and the Club makes sure we can give back to the community whenever we can."

It keeps us level-headed and makes us realise how fortunate we are

Adam Doueihi

Rabbitohs Assistant Coach Willie Peters was one of the staff members in attendance, and shed more light on the Black Rabbits program, emphasising the importance of the program especially for the younger crop of players.

"We've got the Black Rabbit program here for the guys who have played 14 games or less, who have yet to taste first-grade or those new to the Club," said Peters.

"The program follows The Rabbitoh Way - becoming a better footballer but also becoming a better person - and there's no better way than doing that than providing for the homeless like the boys have done today.

"Obviously the Rabbitohs have been giving back to the community for a long time, and this program has also been going on for the last few years. It's a great way to give back and it's a great way for the boys to appreciate what they've got every day.

"They've engaged with the locals really well and put a few smiles on their faces. They've been putting on a barbeque and chewing the fat, and that's what this day is all about."

There is also a reason why this group comes together each week - according to Peters, it is to build a core of young men who understand what it is to be a first-grader, a man and a Rabbitoh, with further programs to be set out in the future. 

"At the moment there has been a lot of education around their football; including our philosophies around attack and our processes in defence," Peters explained.

I don't want to point out anyone individually but as a collective, they're really showing a lot of growth.

Willie PetersRabbitohs Assistant Coach

"We're looking at how to make players resilient, so we're getting some guest speakers in who have overcome a lot of adversity in life. We're teaching them how to become a first-grade footballer, but the most important thing is to educate them on the Rabbitoh Way.

"The Rabbitoh Way is being the best you can be on the field at training every day, and off the field, it's being the best person you can be, in short.

"I think a big part about it is seeing their personalities - we want to see who they are and who they can be, and that's what we try to promote it as much as possible.

"We're seeing more of who they are and what their character is all about, and that's what this program is about. I don't want to point out anyone individually but as a collective, they're really showing a lot of growth."

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