Com­mu­nity events planned as league takes cen­tre stage

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Dane Lillingstone dane.lillingstone@ whit­sun­day­

SCHOOLS and shop­ping cen­tres will be part of the Leg­ends of League itin­er­ary as some for­mer greats of the NRL hit the Whit­sun­days this week to spread cheer and raise money.

Play­ers vis­ited schools in Collinsville and Bowen yes­ter­day and will visit Proser­pine High and Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege to­day to talk about the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion and share sto­ries from their ca­reers.

For­mer St Ge­orge Dragons try-scor­ing ma­chine Nathan Black­lock said the school vis­its were re­ally im­por­tant.

“We’re speak­ing to young kids about our ca­reers, what we went through, the sac­ri­fices we made, and we try to stress that no mat­ter where you are or where you start in life, school is im­por­tant to your fu­ture,” he said.

“These school events, that’s the main part of what we do, that’s why we come up early.”

Craig Tee­van, a for­mer Queens­lan­der and Bris­bane Bronco, had vis­ited the town be­fore Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie hit and said it was good to see it in re­cov­ery.

“This for us is a chance to give peo­ple some­thing to cel­e­brate, an­other rea­son to get to­gether,” he said.

“We typ­i­cally get crowds of up to 2000 peo­ple and we ex­pect a good crowd up here. Ev­ery­one is go­ing to ben­e­fit from it.”

The All Stars match is the main event of the week, with a game be­tween past league leg­ends and Whit­sun­day leg­ends at 7.30pm in Bowen at Deni­son Park on Satur­day.

It will be a full day of rugby league games, in­clud­ing the Whit­sun­day Brah­mans A-grade match.

The free event will ask for a gold coin dona­tion, with pro­ceeds go­ing to Cy­clone Deb­bie re­lief.

While the game is played in a char­ity spirit, for­mer North Syd­ney Bear Craig Wil­son did have one mes­sage for the lo­cal boys.

“If any of the Whit­sun­day guys get out of hand, we’re just go­ing to let Petero (Civon­iceva) and John Hopoate sort ’em out,” Wil­son said.

Matches start at 9.30am.


PACK IN: The Leg­ends of League are hit­ting the Whit­sun­days this week.


READY AND SET: The Leg­ends of League play­ers Craig Tee­van, Craig Wil­son, Nathan Black­lock and or­gan­iser Troy By­ers with Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege stu­dents Lanie Brown, Say­lor Har­ri­son and Matthew Hansen (back) with Juan Borg, Bar­bara Ver­giris, Eloise Ven­ter, Tyler Shana­han, Jade Shep­hard-Smith, Yahya Oosthuizen and Belle Howard.

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