WESTS TIGERS SEE 61 SCHOOLS IN A DAY
By Wayne Cousins
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Wests Tigers players took part in one of the club’s biggest ever junior rugby league promotions in the Balmain district on Wednesday, February 17.
More than 30 players from the NRL squad including Benji Marshall, Tim Moltzen, Chris Lawrence and Keith Galloway were joined by young guns Blake Ayshford, Robert Lui, Andrew Fifita and Jake Mullaney for the annual Wests Tigers Balmain Schools Blitz.
In just one day, Wests Tigers players visited 61 schools in the Balmain district alone - an incredible 52 Primary and 9 High Schools.
This follows on from more than 20 Wests Tigers players who were involved in the NRL Community Carnival Day at Campbelltown, Belmore, Parramatta and Penrith last Wednesday.
The figure of 52 Primary Schools and 9 High Schools is an increase of 29 schools on the 2009 Balmain Blitz, meaning more than 12,000 students and teachers were visited by Wests Tigers players and ARL Development Officers.
“There are 93 primary schools in the Balmain region and to get 52 involved shows just how popular rugby league is and why it remains the sport of choice amongst young people,’’ said Wests Tigers/ARL Development Officer Tony Ashton.
“The players spoke about playing junior rugby league, the benefits of exercise, and help spread the ‘Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well’ message to children.
“Each child also received a Wests Tigers showbag full of rugby league material and posters. It was a big effort by the Wests Tigers players as each group saw at least four to five schools each between the normal school hours of 9am and 3pm.”
Wests Tigers five-eighth Benji Marshall was again a star attraction with children. Marshall and Tim Moltzen attended Forest Lodge Public School, Nicholson Street Public School, St Brendans Primary School.
A highlight at each school was students and teachers trying their hand at doing the ‘Benji Marshall side-step’ where the roar of approval was deafening at times.
“It is a pretty effort by the club and the players. It is important to give back to the schools and try to get a few more kids playing junior rugby league,’’ Marshall said.
“Today is all about the kids and showing them how much fun you can have in rugby league.”