The NSWRL, together with Transport for NSW, has used Rugby League training to help deliver an important message about road safety awareness as the Knock-On Effect continued its tour of regional NSW.
The last leg of the Regional Roadshow saw True Blues Beau Scott and Mark Hughes travel to Maitland before the pair were joined by Jamie Soward in Wyong.
Scott and Mark Hughes come together on Thursday night where the Maitland under-19s team undertook drills that linked reaction speed, awareness of surroundings and the effect of an error on field back to road safety.
The drills were designed to demonstrate how one small error can cost a team.
“You don’t throw a mate a hospital pass on the field, so don’t let it happen on the road,” Hughes said.
The Knock-On effect has been felt first hand at Maitland with members of the group reliving their own personal Knock-On-Effect that happened just metres from the ground.
The father of the young player still works for the club in the canteen every weekend, with players encouraged to have a moment with him to realise just how much it has changed his life.
Hughes told the group the story of how he had been affected after a junior league club player who had been out celebrating a premiership win before losing his life to drink-driving.
It is a fact that 1 in 4 people will be affected by a road accident, that’s 25% of a team, who may experience the Knock-On Effect.
This staggering figure, could all change with a different decision, including turning off your phone while you’re in the car, hanging up the keys, and finding an alternative to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Soward told the Wyong Roos, of the moment that changed his mate’s life forever,
“I had a mate who actually got distracted on the road and is a paraplegic now, it affected him, but his four-year-old son became a quadriplegic, the father, he now has to live with that grief,” Soward said.
“His Knock-On Effect was that he has to live with that.
“I now have a seven-month-old daughter and every time I am in the car I have all my focus on the road.”
In the last three weeks the Regional Roadshow has stopped in Tamworth, Narromine, Griffith and Shellharbour with former NSW True Blues Ben Elias, Mark O’Meley, Willie Mason and Luke Bailey.
On our roads, one mistake can effect an entire community so the message being delivered is to make every journey a safe one.
If your local club or school are interested in hearing more about the Knock-On-Effect program please contact NSWRL on firstname.lastname@example.org