Sometimes, simple gestures can have profound results.
Last month, nine-year-old Alex Liddle sent a letter to the QRL asking for 50 footballs.
However, the Chinchilla Bulldogs Under 10 Green team member wasn’t asking for these footys for him and his friends to play with – he instead was hoping to share them with regional kids affected by the drought.
Alex came up with the idea when driving to Brisbane with his dad and mum Carissa – who works for the Drought Angels in Chinchilla – when the subject of the drought and the problems faced by the communities in the stricken areas was discussed by the family.
In Alex’s letter he wrote:
“I came up with an idea, as a keen footy player myself, I thought the kids in these rural areas may like to receive a footy as a present from us and play a game of footy with my brothers and me.
“I was hoping you are able to help me in donating some footballs so I can make this happen and put a smile on the kids’ faces.”
When Alex received the phone call to say that footballs donated by the NRL and QRL would be delivered to Chinchilla; he was fist pumping the air and shouting with excitement.
The first person he called to share the good news was Jenny Gailey, the Director of Drought Angels.
The footballs will be handed over to the kids on December 1 in Morven, 90kms east of Charleville where 50 families will be invited to attend the Rural Day Off. This is an event where families in regional areas can take some time off to relax and enjoy the day on the Drought Angels as a result of many donations received.
They families will be supplied with breakfast, lunch and dinner and will have all their needs attended to on the day.
They will also receive Christmas hampers and gifts for their families, a Rural Goodie Bag consisting of many requirements needed to help in their everyday lives on the farm including hay and dog food.
A beautician and massage therapist will also attend to allow the mums to sit back and be spoilt and enjoy something they would usually not look to spend their own money on.
The kids will also be looked after with various games and activities planned.
Alex and his family are heading to Morven to help on the day.
When asked what he planned; Alex said he was “going to train the farmers to play footy to perfection”.
Young Alex is one amazing person who loves his footy and loves “running with the footy and use my vision and score”.
Cameron Smith is his favourite player, and like him; Alex has a great knowledge of what is going on in the NRL world. He also likes to help others.
To finish his morning off after the footys were delivered; Alex was offered to be taken back to school the ‘Maroon Nomad’ (QRL Outback and Remote Areas van).
He did not hesitate to take up the offer and was dropped off at the front gate of the school in style.
With young people like Alex involved in rugby league and wanting to help others; the future in of the game in rural areas is in good hands.
*Peter Rafter is the QRL Outback Operations Manager