Parramatta Eels legends Luke Burt and Nathan Cayless have paid a visit to the Eels Educate program today, to talk to a group of at-risk Western Sydney schoolboys about their lives as first grade footy players.


The program is coordinated by the Blacktown and Parramatta PCYCs, where the schoolboys form Pendle Hill High and Seven Hills Sports High take part in an 8-week program to encourage themselves to aspire for improvement.


"They learn about drugs, alcohol, health - all the important life skills that they can take away," Senior Constable Brad Martin says.


"It's a reward based program; if they're good at school, good at home, don't cause trouble and aren't picked up by the police then we go go-karting once a month and we do activities like ten pin bowling and laser tag."





The participants are chosen by their year advisors and principals for being highly disengaged at school, with the program running since the start of this term.


"You can see there's value to the program already from the students' feedback and participation, they really enjoy it," the head of the Eels Educate program Ryan James said.


Luke Burt, who is now a Welfare and Education Officer with the Eels said to even help one of the children make better life choices is rewarding.


"Even if it's just a little bit of difference it all counts- and it's good to have the police involved as well, to really help these boys see they can aim for something better in life."


"We're all about trying to break down the barriers between police officers and the youth - so they know we aren't their enemy and things like that," Brad Martin said.


"The boys love having - it's great to have these former players here who they all recognise and tell them about their lives and lessons they've learned."


Retired legend Nathan Cayless says for the Eels to run their own education program at Parramatta Stadium is a great advantage for these kids.


"The officers at the PCYC do a great job- to be able to help these at-risk kids and get them away from trouble and staying in school and having their lives improved is fantastic."


Click here to find out more about the PCYC programs.