The Gold Coast Titans’ indigenous players have put smiles on the faces of a number of local youths who have been chosen to represent the club at next week’s All Stars camp as part of the NRL’s School to Work (S2W) program.
The S2W initiative is an education and employment program that utilises the positive profile of rugby league to support and encourage young Indigenous Australians to complete their schooling and successfully transition into further education or employment.
Through the Titans, students are provided with a mentor, an additional education session and the ability to spend time in a workplace that interests them.
It is a program that has been part of the NRL’s community and welfare program for a number of years, producing many success stories each year.
As part of the program, four lucky participants have been selected to attend the NRL All Stars Indigenous Youth Leadership Summit in Melbourne next week.
The group will spend time in cultural sessions with many of their NRL idols, before attending the All Stars fixture on Friday night at AAMI Park.
Each student selected to attend the week-long summit was chosen as a result of the outstanding effort they have put into their school work, attendance records and reports from their mentors.
Titans centre Brenko Lee was on hand to congratulate the winners, and says the group has been given a wonderful opportunity.
“It’s great,” Lee said. “They want to be good role models and it’s good for them to spend time with us here at the training facility.
“I remember when I was younger, (former Broncos player) Jharal Yow Yeh came to my school years ago and it was very exciting.
“It’ll be a good week (for the kids) at the Youth Summit to learn more about their culture and where they’re from.
“They do get a week off school, but they’ll definitely be learning a lot.”