Dyldam Parramatta Eels centre Beau Champion has travelled all over Darwin visiting schools, junior rugby league clubs and the Northern Territory Institute of Sport as the Blue and Gold spend the week in Eels Territory. 

For Champion, spending time with the kids of the NT is a continuation of the community work he’s done throughout the year and plans to stay involved with him even once his rugby league days wind up. 

“It’s been fantastic,” Champion said.

“It’s great that the Eels bring a game to the Northen Territory and it’s great to meet the locals; a lot of these guys haven’t played rugby league before or seen it, but the kids are very active and want to learn the new skills.”

“Dealing with injury I’ve been doing a lot of community work and it makes you appreciate the position you are in as a rugby league player. It’s something I’ll be thinking of doing once I do finish football as well.”

The Eels trip to Darwin sees them preparing to take on the Penrith Panthers on Saturday, August 8, as part of NRL Indigenous Round, a particularly special weekend for the Parramatta centre.

“Being an indigenous boy myself it’s something I hold close to my heart,” Champion said.

“Rugby League’s a really big part of our culture, and it (sport) ha been instilled in indigenous culture. It’s a great week for non-indigenous Australians to see and to understand a bit more about our culture.”

Champion also joined another former Eel, Dean Widders, for a series of visits to mark NAIDOC week, to celebrate indigenous culture and connect with the Indigenous community.

“I went out to Long Bay Jail and visited the inmates out there, played a bit of footy, threw the ball around. We went to both Long Bay and Silverwater, and also spent some time at some schools in the South-west Sydney area.”

“It’s been a big week, but a great week.”