In the lead-up to the Rabbitohs first pre-season game of 2024, Souths Cares engaged over 1,500 students on the Central Coast – delivering Rabbitohs Wellbeing Workshops, Connect Respect Resilience Workshops and Junior League Clinics with the support of Central Coast NRL Game Development staff.

On Wednesday, the team visited Tuggerah Public School, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College: The Entrance Campus and Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College: Berkeley Vale Campus. Throughout the Rabbitohs Wellbeing Workshops, Souths Cares Ambassador Braidon Burns shared his strategies for supporting his mental health during recovery from injury, with students enjoying the unique insights from an athlete’s perspective.

After returning to the Rabbitohs and joining Souths Cares late last year, Braidon stated it was nice to receive a warm welcome on the Central Coast, before captaining the Rabbitohs team in Sunday’s trial match.

Braidon Burns

Being able to head to Gosford and deliver our workshops was a great experience. Some of the schools had never been afforded the opportunity and really showed their appreciation. I felt like the workshops had a big impact, particularly for the senior students.

On Thursday the team visited Coast Christian School and Narara Valley High School to continue promoting important health and wellbeing messages and providing opportunities for students to get active and learn some fundamental skills of Rugby League. Yileen Gordon spent the day with students discussing the importance of understanding and developing healthy relationships.

Both Braidon Burns and Yileen Gordon played in the Rabbitohs trial match on Sunday, highlighting the strong connection between community and football which is embedded within the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Souths Cares.

Each Rabbitohs Wellbeing Workshop was accompanied by a Connect, Respect, Resilience workshop which addresses mental health stigma, promotes help seeking and builds resilience in a crisis. Workshops were facilitated by Tiana Feinga – Connect, Respect Resilience Program Coordinator and supported by Rhys Wesser, Souths Cares Ambassador.

After also joining Souths Cares last year, Tiana stated it was exciting to take the Connect, Respect, Resilience Workshops on the road and visit Central Coast schools.

“I really enjoyed the past couple of days in the Gosford region and having the opportunity to reach so many students with our Connect, Respect, Resilience Program. I was impressed with students existing knowledge of mental health and self-awareness, and they engaged really well with the key messages of the program”, Tiana said.

The last stop on the Central Coast tour was a visit to Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre, where Souths Cares and NRL Game Development staff hosted a game of touch football and a motivational workshop with for young people within the Centre.

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

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