The Dyldam Parramatta Eels have taken the #NRLWellbeing message to almost 20,000 school students in Western Sydney as part of the annual NRL Community Carnival.

The entire Eels squad visited 62 schools in the Parramatta and Western Sydney region, delivering this year’s community message of “Wellbeing”.

Now in its 15th year, this year’s Community Carnival curriculum focuses on nutrition, healthy eating, mental health and the importance of regular exercise.

Eels captain Tim Mannah was looking forward to the opportunity to spending the day spreading the #NRLWellbeing message.

“It is a really great opportunity for the guys to go back to their roots and remind themselves of what it was like to be young and excited about their football and also a great opportunity for some kids to meet some footy players and to learn about wellbeing,” Mannah said.

With the entire Eels squad taking part in the carnival, Mannah knows the importance of being role models in the community and the importance that community initiatives like today have.

“It’s great, especially for a lot of the young guys coming through, just being introduced to the NRL, it’s great for them to realise the impact they have on young people and their position as NRL players,” Mannah said.

Eels forward Junior Paulo remembers when he was still at school and had a visit from the NRL and the forward, whom recently became a father, was looking forward to hitting the classrooms.

“It’s always good getting out to schools. When I was in school, we had the Wests Tigers visit and spread the same message, so its good to go back and teach the next generation coming through,” Paulo said.

“I have to wait til my little one grows up, but for me being a father now and a role model to him growing up, I just have to send the right message” he added.

Eels backrower Manu Ma’u, who also has two young children, was looking forward to spending the day visiting plenty of young school students and teaching them about the importance of staying healthy through nutrition.

“It is good to come out here and talk to the kids and send a positive to them about eating right and eating the right foods and drinking a lot of water,” Ma’u said.

“I have two boys of my own, so seeing the kids smile and for them to start talking to you and telling you about what they are eating it should be good’ he added.

Click here to check out some photos of Tim Mannah, Junior Paulo and Manu Ma’u visiting Toongabbie East Public School!