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Fittler's outback quest to help disengaged youth

Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler, True Blue Mark O’Meley and Rugby League legend Nathan Blacklock will cover more than 1650 kilometres and visit almost 450 students from eight different schools across three days this week in a bid to help disengaged youth stay in school.

The initiative between the NSWRL and NSW Police will see Fittler visit primary and high schools in Walgett, Brewarrina and Bourke as part of a Rugby League program which could see students earn a trip to Sydney to train with their heroes in an NRL team before a match.

The visits from Tuesday to Thursday (3-5 December) will include workshops on wellbeing, respect and bullying followed by a skills and drills clinic to help children with their hand and eye co-ordination.

Fittler has always had a passion for helping out children after founding Hogs For The Homeless for Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets and said he was well aware that there were kids across regional NSW who were doing it just as tough.

“There are some serious issues confronting kids in the bush and it’s humbling to think that my visit could help make a difference to them,” Fittler said.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for the kids out here to attend school every day and learn something which could help turn their lives around.

“The initiatives the NSWRL and the NSW Police have come up with are great and give the kids a real chance to see their Rugby League heroes in person.”

The program will continue in 2020 with visits to other schools across regional NSW including Nyngan, Cobar and Lightning Ridge.

Children who participate and improve their behaviour and achieve at least 80 per cent attendance at school could earn a trip to Sydney to participate in a NRL training session before a NRL game.

Media wishing to attend the school visits can do so in the times listed below where Fittler, O’Meley and Blacklock will be available for interviews.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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