Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler will next week embark on an ambitious Hogs motorcycle ride covering 5000km and 24 regional NSW towns in 10 days to support local communities and promote Rugby League participation.
It is the first Hogs tour, which is one of the main programs of the NSWRL Foundation, around regional NSW in two years after 2020 was disrupted by the summer bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tour will be spread over two weeks (8-12 February and 15-19 February), taking in 13 schools, conducting six free football clinics, and handing out 2400 footballs.
Click here to register for the clinic at Warialda
Click here to register for the clinic at Lennox Head
Click here to register for the clinic at Batemans Bay
Click here to register for the clinic at Cooma
Click here to register for the clinic at Albury
Click here to register for the clinic at Blayney
Fittler will be joined by Gus Worland, the Chairman and Founder of Gotcha4Life, who will deliver messages about mental fitness to high school children. The pair teamed up last year to lift community spirits in areas including Queanbeyan, Canberra, Griffith and Tumut.
True Blues Nathan Hindmarsh and Steve Menzies will be involved for a portion of the tour which will also include a training session with Sydney Roosters players and Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues James Tedesco and Angus Crichton, and Blues hopeful Victor Radley.
Week One of the tour (8-12 February) will take in the far north coast and north-west of NSW with the riders travelling a combined 2079km and visiting towns including Lennox Head and Warialda.
Week Two (15-19 February) will take in the far south coast and south-west of NSW with the riders travelling a combined 3229km and visiting towns including Albury and Orange.
Fittler, who was a founding member of the annual charity ride, “Hogs For The Homeless”, which began in 2013 and has raised more than $760,000 for Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets program, said he was looking forward to connecting with all NSW fans across the state.
“One of the things I love the most about my job as coach of the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues is that it gives me the opportunity to connect with all our supporters from Bourke to Bankstown,” Fittler said.
“The state had a pretty tough time last year because of the bushfires and coronavirus and I missed not being able to travel around as freely as I have in previous years.
“I can’t wait to jump back on the bike again, get around the great state of NSW, play footy with the local kids and deliver some important message about mental fitness to any communities who might be still doing it tough.”
Worland said: "I love going out with Freddy, the Hogs and all the team at NSWRL because not only do we get to meet some really fantastic people, but we get to talk about mental fitness.
“I believe if you look at the statistics, mental fitness is required even more in rural Australia. Through the clinics, we are able to raise the importance of mental fitness in a fun and engaging way which allows us to have those meaningful conversations."
The NSWRL Foundation aims to use Rugby League to drive social change in the community through its support of charity partners and programs including Gotcha4Life and Youth Off The Streets.
“It is great to see our Blues coach Brad Fittler and the Hogs back on the road in regional New South Wales this year visiting 24 towns in 10 days and using the power of Rugby League to make a difference in these local communities after a tough 2020 for everyone in the community,” Ajaka said.