The Parramatta Eels National Rugby League Club and Parramatta Leagues Club announced today that it had signed a partnership with Life Education NSW. The partnership will support Life Education’s delivery of school based programs across western Sydney aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles for almost 40,000 students in 205 schools.

The three-year agreement will roll out a raft of health and safety programs to schools in the Hills District, Parramatta, Western Sydney, Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai regions. Combined with the Club’s game development strategy, this agreement confirms that the Parramatta Eels has the highest school presence in the NRL and western Sydney.

The co-branded partnership gives every child participating in the Life Education program in western Sydney an opportunity to sign up to Sparky’s Brigade, a Parramatta Eels Club initiative offering free season membership to Parramatta Eels Club, including attendance at Eels home games for children under 16.

Parramatta Eels CEO, Bernie Gurr, said the Parramatta Eels Club is honoured to be closely aligned with an iconic Australian organisation. “Our Club is privileged to partner with such an outstanding community organisation as Life Education. Our Club is committed to community initiatives and to be able to work with Life Education to positively contribute to the healthy lifestyle of the youth of western Sydney is truly exciting and very meaningful.”

Life Education NSW CEO, Kellie Sloane said, “We are thrilled to be working alongside Parramatta Eels to educate students in NSW about making smart choices regarding their health and safety. We really value their generosity which will help us deliver vital life lessons to even more children in the western Sydney region.”

Life Education is the largest non-government provider of drug and health education for youth in Australia and for 36 years the organisation has taken its mobile learning centre and famous mascot ‘Harold’, the healthy giraffe, to schools, teaching students about healthy choices in areas of drugs and alcohol, cyber-safety, healthy lifestyle and bullying. The program reaches 278,000 children across NSW, with 44 mobile learning centres and 53 specially trained educators.

Funding for the partnership will come from Parramatta Leagues Club Clubgrants. Parramatta Leagues Club CEO Bevan Paul said, “We contribute a million dollars annually to local community partnerships and we are proud to be supporting Life Education and Parramatta Eels to expand their healthy lifestyle messages through education within our local communities.”