The Dyldam Parramatta Eels 2014 pre-season has been one of the most active in the club’s history, with new benchmarks set for community engagement.
Since returning to training last November, collectively Eels players have dedicated 652 hours to working in the community.
Whether it be during the NRL Community Carnival delivering the #tacklebullying message, visiting hospitals or appearing at Junior Registration days to encourage kids to play rugby league, Eels players have engaged the community like never before.
Leading the way is Co-Captain Tim Mannah, a multiple Ken Stephen Medal nominee, with 33 hours spent having a positive influence in the community.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels CEO Scott Seward was full of praise for the players, who while working hard in preparation for Round 1 have been committed to making a difference off the paddock.
“We are a club that believes in giving back to a community that has supported us for over 65 years,” Seward said.
“Our players understand that and under Head Coach Brad Arthur embrace the responsibility of being a positive influence to those who look up to them.”
In February, the club launched the Blue and Gold Blitz, a seven-day initiative that saw Eels players and staff appear at shopping centres, train stations, schools and other various locations throughout Greater Western Sydney.
In total, the club engaged with over 40,000 people in the community promoting good nutrition and anti-bullying, meeting fans and gaining support for the upcoming season.
Dyldam Parramatta Eels players have also made a number of visits to the Children’s Hospital Westmead, while also taking time out to support our other Blue and Gold Heart partners Ronald McDonald House at Westmead, The Black Dog Institute and Careflight.
Community Relations Manager Erica Fryar believes the club can continue to raise the bar, in particular within the local area.
“We must continue to challenge ourselves to take what we do to the next level, because we really can have a huge positive impact on the community,” Fryar explained.
“What we have achieved this off-season is tremendous but we remain focused on reaching out to at-risk youth and using Rugby League to deliver important messages to those who need it most.”