The NRL has named 46 Ambassadors for 2017, including the likes of Alan Tongue, Darren Lockyer, Ruan Sims, Georgia Hale, Clinton Toopi and Matt Bowen.
The Ambassadors will join NRL Clubs and the wider NRL community in supporting numerous community initiatives throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, all aimed at improving lives and educating communities on positive wellbeing.
Amongst the record 46 Ambassadors are 10 female Ambassadors and 10 Pasifika Ambassadors, with 15 of the 46 Ambassadors taking on official Ambassador duties for the first time in 2017.
NRL General Manager of Community, Ellen Beale was delighted to welcome many of the Ambassadors to an induction at Rugby League Central this week.
“Rugby League is fortunate to have many within our playing groups and our communities who go above and beyond, often without fuss, to help improve the lives of others,” Ms Beale said.
“Our Ambassadors are an invaluable extension of our many community programs, including supporting positive mental wellbeing, eradicating domestic violence and ensuring safe and supportive learning environments for students.
“I look forward to working alongside all of our Ambassadors as we continue to use Rugby League’s voice to actively contribute to making our communities more inclusive.”
The NRL’s Community programs are aligned to three key pillars: Health, Respect and Learn.
Programs are supported by expert partners, who enable and guide decisions aimed at providing positive experiences and outcomes.
Newly appointed Ambassador and former Broncos captain, Corey Parker said it was an easy decision to put his hand up to play a role in continuing to give back to a sport that has been such an important part of his life.
“I’m excited to be given this opportunity to continue being a positive role model within the game I love,” Parker said.
“A lot of people see the brilliance of many players on the field, but I can tell you that just as many players and people connected with rugby league do a lot of good things off the field to help out those who need a bit of support or just someone to talk to.”
Further information on NRL Community programs can be found at www.nrlcommunity.com.au
2017 NRL Ambassadors
David Solomona – based in Queensland
Clinton Toopi – based in Queensland
2017 NRL Ambassadors Background Information
- A record 46 NRL Ambassadors announced for 2017 (up from 39 NRL Ambassadors in 2016)
- 15 first-time Ambassadors amongst the 46
- 10 female Ambassadors amongst the 46
- 7 New Zealand Ambassadors amongst the 46
- 4 Indigenous Ambassadors amongst the 46
- 3 Pacific Ambassadors amongst the 46
2016 NRL Community Programs Background Information
- Ambassadors and Players spent more than 35,000 hours outside of rugby league commitments supporting local, regional and rural communities
- More than 250,000 school children were educated on the importance of wellbeing as part of the NRL’s annual Community Carnival
- More than 350 hours of face to face delivery of the NRL’s In League In Harmony multicultural program
- 98% transition rate of students into employment and further education as part of the NRL’s Indigenous School to Work program
- 24 players from the NRL, Jillaroos and Touch Football Australia self-nominated to become NRL State of Mind ambassadors – supporting those suffering from mental illness
- NRL Ambassadors visited more than 130,000 school children last year, imparting education and wellbeing messages across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific
NRL Community Pillars and Lead Programs
NRL Health: State of Mind, NRL Wellbeing
NRL Respect: Voice Against Violence, In League In Harmony, Tackle Bullying, Pride in Sport
NRL Learn: School to Work, Learning with League, Rugby League Reads, Dream; Believe; Achieve