Souths Cares facilitated another successful Regional Tour in May, visiting the NSW North Coast to promote health, wellbeing and physical activity to over 2,400 school students.

The tour kicked off at Ballina Public School, with students from Wardell Public School and Cabbage Tree Island Public School also in attendance to participate in ‘Get Moving’ and ‘Connect Respect Resilience’ Workshops.

In the afternoon, the Souths Cares team headed to Alstonville Public School and Wollongbar Public School to promote the importance of physical activity, nutrition and mental health strategies. Over 740 students from five schools completed Rabbitohs Wellbeing and Connect Respect Resilience workshops, which were co-facilitated by Souths Cares Ambassadors Rhys Wesser and Yileen Gordon.

From day two, the Souths Cares team were joined by Rabbitohs NRL Players Shaquai Mitchell and Ben Lovett as well as Deadly Choices Ambassador and former NRL Player Tyrone Roberts. The team spent the day visiting St Jospeh’s Catholic Primary School (Coraki), Casino West Public School and Casino Public School, with students embracing the opportunity to learn about mental health and wellbeing strategies from current and former NRL players.

Health and Wellbeing Programs Coordinator, Kalinda Bolt explained the students were excited to see the Rabbitohs Players and Ambassadors visit their communities.

Kalinda Bolt, Health and Wellbeing Programs Coordinator

We received a great reception at every school we visited on the North Coast. We loved seeing the excitement on student's faces as they had the opportunity to meet our Players and Ambassadors and learn some important health and wellbeing strategies.

On day three, the team headed to Maclean High School and Maclean Public School, engaging over 240 students and delivered important health messages around mental health, nutrition and exercise. Rabbitohs players Shaquai Mitchell and Ben Lovett shared their personal journeys to becoming NRL players and some of their own strategies for overcoming adversity and challenging times.

On the final day, the team travelled to Grafton and engaged over 900 students from South Grafton Public School, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School (South Grafton), McAuley Catholic College and Grafton High School. Throughout the day, the team had some impactful discussions with students about developing their aspirations, being resilient and leading healthy and active lifestyles.

The North Coast Regional Tour was the first time Deadly Choices has attended a regional tour, with Souths Cares and Deadly Choice recently establishing a partnership for community engagement and health promotion initiatives.

Deadly Choices Partnership Manager, Nathan Appo stated the regional tour provided a great opportunity to connect with the community and promote healthy lifestyles.

“Deadly Choices' new partnership with Souths Cares and the Rabbitohs has allowed both programs to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.

The Souths Cares regional trip to the North Coast gave Deadly Choices the opportunity to connect and emphasise the importance of eating nutritious food, being physically active, quitting smoking or vaping and connecting with your local Community Controlled Health Service for a 715 Health Check”, Nathan said.

With over 2,400 school students engaged from 14 schools, the North Coast Regional Tour was a huge success and a memorable experience for the Souths Cares team who were warmly welcomed at each school visit.

The Rabbitohs Wellbeing Program is proudly supported by the Ian and Shirley Norman Foundation.

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