NRL's Community ambassadors and former players Alan Tongue and Clinton Toopi along with QRL's Northern Division (Region) Wellbeing & Education manager Rob Hall have spent QRL's Country Week touring Townsville's regional clubs delivering the State Of Mind and Voice Against Violence programs.
The tour - which included visits to Charters Towers, Ingham and Ayr - provided the opportunity for clubs to tap into the NRL's community programs and provided valuable messages and skills around the key areas of mental wellness and domestic and family violence.
Four clubs in the Townsville District Rugby League competition were involved in the tour that began on June 16 at Centrals ASA Rugby League Football Club.
Clinton Toopi was joined by fellow ambassador and former North Queensland Cowboy Ray Thompson and current Cowboys player Antonio Winterstein to present the State of Mind program to players and support staff at the club.
On Tuesday, the team took the trip up to Charters Towers where they got the opportunity to drop into Charters Towers State High School and run some skills and drills with the kids during their lunch break.
The session was well received with the predominance of young girls involved further displaying the growth and strength of women's rugby league in North Queensland.
In the evening the team were hosted by the Charters Towers Miners where Alan Tongue delivered the voice against violence program to members of both A and reserve grade and the under 19's while members of the coaching staff and committee were involved in the State Of Mind program.
Tongue kept the boys on their toes with a portion of the Voice Against Violence program delivered on the field utilising skills and drills he had picked up during his 220 game career at the Canberra Raiders, but with the added input of important messages surrounding violence against women.
On Wednesday, Toopi visited Rasmussen State School to help with a session for their Karyn Murphy Cup team, followed by a visit to Jack Manski Oval to see the NRL Development Cup match between Willows State school and the visiting Proserpine State School, who came away victorious with a thrilling 12-10 victory.
That evening the team travelled to Ingham where they were hosted by the Herbert River Crushers where Tongue and Toopi joined forces to deliver the Voice Against Violence program.
NRL Voice Against Violence – Weipa
The last visit of the trip was to Ayr where the Burdekin Roosters were on hand to receive both Voice against Violence and State of Mind presentations. Tongue also had the opportunity to jump in on a training session with the Under 17's in preparation for the upcoming final.
"It was great to have both Alan and Clinton come out to some of our regional clubs in the Townsville district and to have the opportunity to give support and some education around some really key social issues to our grassroots communities," QRL Northern Region Wellbeing and Education manager Rob Hall said.
"Through this relationship with the NRL's Community programs we will be able to further maximise our support to regional clubs and communities throughout North Queensland in this vital space.
"It was a great trip and a great opportunity to strengthening our relationships with the QRL's Wellbeing and Education team, " Tongue said.
*Story contributed by Robert Hall - Northern Division / Region Wellbeing Manager