2014 was a big year for the Dyldam Parramata Eels in the Community with the players, coaching staff and office staff attending schools, Junior League Clubs, fans in the community, visiting our Charity Partners, taking part in the Eels Educate Program and plenty more events in the community.
2014 Community Relations Highlights
To kick off the year, the Dyldam Parramatta Eels started out by visiting 69 schools in the Parramatta/Hills District and 16 Schools in Alice Springs, equating to our club visiting over 70,000 kids. During these visits, players and staff engaged with young primary school students to deliver the ‘Tackle Bullying’ Community message.
This was followed by the ‘Blue and Gold Blitz’ which saw the players meeting and greeting fans at train stations, Junior League Clubs and schools in the local community.
In April, forward, former centre, and one-club man, Ben Smith led the way as the Eels hosted a ‘For the Farmers’ game on Easter Monday when the Eels played the Wests Tigers. The Blue and Gold played host to Quirindi Junior Rugby League and Charity Partner Careflight flew in the match ball with a farmer from Werris Creek, NSW.
In July and August, the Eels visited Darwin to launch their very own Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), which will build relationships with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The Eels have a long history within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and they have been instrumental in the development of our club both on and off the field over the years, and are very much a part of the Eels identity. The Eels are proud to say that we are one of only four clubs in the NRL that have a RAP.
To find out more about the Eels Reconciliation Action Plan, visit: http://www.parraeels.com.au/community/Reconciliation-action-plan.html
The Eels visit to the Northern Territory was a great success, as the club visited 34 schools, 6 junior league clubs, a junior league fundraising dinner, The Men’s Shed Community launch, The Eels Cup and a fan engagement signing session at the Waterfront.
On our return from the Northern Territory, the Eels took part in the annual Bandaged Bear Cup game against the Bulldogs. In the build up to the match, the Bulldogs, The Children’s Hospital Westmead and ANZ Stadium hosted a free lunch for hospital staff whilst also giving out complimentry tickets. This game also coincided with the NRL’s Close the Gap round where we celebrated all of the work our club does in the Indigenous space.
To round out the year, the Eels held their annual Ronald McDonald Christmas Party for families staying at the house along with the full Parramatta Eels squad and coaching staff making a visit to The Children’s Hospital Westmead. A worthwhile day for all involved!
EELS EDUCATE 2014
We have had a very successful year with Eels Educate, with over 1,200 students from across the Parramatta region taking part in various education programs with the Eels Educate classroom based at Pirtek Stadium.
With the introduction of new programs, focusing on social cohesion, literacy and life skills, more than 34 schools were involved with the classroom, including 11 Primary Schools, 19 High Schools and 4 Community Centres.
This year saw the introduction of Lussick’s Legends, a program which acted as a reward for students who displayed an improvement in behaviour and a dedication to both their school and the Eels Educate classroom values. The program had the students receive tickets to a home game and also an exclusive meet and greet with Darcy Lussick following the game. Lussick’s Legends was sponsored by The Good Guys, Auburn Megastore, which allowed for one student to receive a $200 gift voucher per home game, selected by Darcy.
Eels Educate, along with the Eels Community Department, was fortunate enough to work with the Sydney Writers Festival for 2014. The festival included a variety of Literacy based projects throughout Western Sydney, including Russ the Travelling Story Bus, a school bus that was transformed into a mobile book swap and library. Russ the Bus was launched via a segment on The Today Show at Pirtek Stadium with students from St Monica’s Catholic Primary School, North Parramatta. Click here to view photos from the day.
Over the past 12 months Eels Educate were involved with a primary school student based community group, Slingshot; a program designed to enable disadvantaged community children the opportunity to participate in club sport and to develop social skills. The students visited the Eels Educate classroom regularly where they participated in various themed activities, including dealing with pressure and personal identity. Eel’s players also attended the classroom sessions where they spoke of personal experiences and shared some advice to the boys.
Eels Educate is relocating from the 2015 school year to the Parramatta 1st Scout Hall, located on Webb St, North Parramatta. Classes are available Tuesday and Thursday within school hours and Wednesday from 11am.