Cowra St Raphael’s students brushed shoulders with several NRL legends at River Park on Tuesday morning, as the Hogs For Homeless regional tour stopped in town.
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Riding their Harley Davidson motorbikes throughout NSW, Hog For Homeless – headlining Brad Fittler – promote awareness of homelessness and raise money for Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Street.
This year marks the tour’s fifth consecutive year and with more than $450,000 raised in that time there’s no arguing the initiative is an absolute success.
“I think deep down everyone wants to help, there’s a lot of people who need it. I just feel like what we’re doing is making people aware of how they can help because a lot of people want to but don’t know how,” Brad Fittler said on Tuesday morning.
“We try to have a lot of fun doing it. The kids are always energetic and they get a free footy.”
The hogs arrived on their Harley Davidson’s about 11am, had a quick stretch of the legs then threw themselves into skill games hosted by Country Rugby League development officers.
Fittler, Steve Menzies, Danny Buderus and Tim Brasher got involved in the action before speaking to the students about the Hogs For Homeless tour and taking questions.
St Raphael’s sports coordinator Tahni Isedale praised the NRL legends and hopes to get involved again in the years to come.
“It’s excellent raising awareness for youth homelessness in NSW and it’s got a lot of our kids talking about it which is good. Getting to interact with these big footy stars, the kids have been talking about it for days.
“We’d love to get involved again it gets the kids active and it’s a great way to raise awareness of homelessness.”
The hogs were travelling from Queanbeyan to Dubbo on Tuesday, having hosted a Hogs For Homeless function at the Hotel Queanbeyan on Monday night.
Fittler identified the event as a massive accomplishment.
“We organised a function at Queanbeyan for about 150 people and raised 10 or 15 thousand dollars and everyone walked away pretty proud,” Fittler said. “It was a really good sign in terms of what we’re trying to do.”
From Cowra the hogs had a few long rides ahead spending Tuesday night in Dubbo then heading to Walgett.
Meanwhile, Fittler – City origin coach – conceded his disappointment in the NRL’s decision to remove the annual City-Country clash from the rugby league calendar but he’s looking forward to making year’s final installment at Mudgee one to remember.
“[It] is a bit of a shame but it’s fully understandable with player’s workloads, hopefully we can make it a good one,” he said.
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