There are many Members and supporters leading The Rabbitoh Way, and 11-year-old Koree Peterson’s selflessness and compassion is a shining example of that.
Growing up in Brisbane, Koree (Member #1855718) is a die-hard Souths and Rugby League fanatic who, along with his mother Casey and father Luke, attend every Rabbitohs match in South East Queensland when possible.
In 2017, Koree attended a Rabbitohs signing session after the Round 14 match at Suncorp Stadium, where he had his most prized possession - his 2016 away jersey - signed by the entire playing group.
Koree valued his jersey so highly that he refused to wear it to matches, in fear of the slightest smudge ruining the famous Cardinal and Myrtle hoops, instead opting to keep it at home while he cheered on the Red and Green from the stands.
But when the recent North Queensland floods hit, Koree’s priorities immediately changed - and he selflessly put the jersey up for auction through St Vincent de Paul in order to gain donations for those affected.
After writing a hand-written letter, with mum Casey sharing it on Facebook, the jersey amassed 112 shares and eventually earned $360 in donations in one of the feel-good stories of the year.
Although he had to give up his most prized possession, Koree said he had no hesitation in doing so.
"I just heard about the floods and thought it would be nice to do,” Koree explained.
“I wrote a letter and we put it up online, and a lot of people responded. I thought it would be nice to try to help the people up there out and it earned $360.
“I got it signed in 2017 in Brisbane. We’ve been supporting the Rabbitohs for a long time and it’s really hard (to part with the jersey) but I feel proud.”
Koree’s mother Casey explained that she and her partner were both shocked and pleased to see her young son going above and beyond to help others in need.
“We’re super proud of him - it completely humbled us when we read the letter that he wrote,” said Casey.
“It makes me really proud. Everyone likes to think their child is a good kid, but when he came up with the idea it really gave us the feeling we were doing something right.
“He’s had a little bit of regret creeping in the last few weeks but he kept on track every time he remembered why he was doing it.
“His father and I have been supporting the Rabbitohs for a while now. My father was a massive supporter and we’re definitely a Rabbitohs household! It’s generational.
“We’ve been to all the Brisbane games we can and we go to a lot of Gold Coast games as well. Koree’s father and I drove down to watch the Grand Final in 2014 as well. We'll be looking to get to both games in Brisbane this year too.”
Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly was astounded upon hearing of Koree’s efforts and praised his commitment and example of embodying The Rabbitoh Way.
“Koree’s willingness to donate such a prized possession to a cause such as the North Queensland floods embodies what the South Sydney Rabbitohs and The Rabbitoh Way is all about,” said Mr Solly.
“He saw another community - particularly a Rugby League community not unlike South Sydney - going through a difficult time, and for Koree to have such maturity and compassion to give up something that he loves very much for that cause is extraordinary.
“In many ways, we’re grateful that we have Members with so much heart and compassion and I think people will forever remember that.
“That’s what our fan base and community is all about. It’s about inclusion and reaching out to others and Koree deserves a huge amount of praise and credit for it.”
It’s Members and supporters like Koree which is what makes the South Sydney Rabbitohs.”