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Charlie Zivkovic meets his hero Gorden Tallis

THE Gold Coast Titans in partnership with the NRL, held a free school holiday clinic for flood victims in Cudgen, featuring a surprise visit from Rugby League legend Gorden Tallis.

The clinic hosted 200 junior players, helping them practice their tackling and ball skills in the sunshine.

The clinic’s surprise guest, Gorden Tallis spent time with the kids, coaching them and answering their questions.

For U11s Tweed Seagulls player Charlie Zivkovic, this was a dream come true.

Charlie Zivkovic meets his hero Gorden Tallis
Charlie Zivkovic meets his hero Gorden Tallis

“I met Gorden Tallis, which was really cool because he is my hero,” Charlie said.

“I was a bit emotional and too excited to eat and drink once I saw him.

“He taught me how to hold the ball, so I don’t knock it on and drop it,” he said.

For Charlie’s mum Katrina, the impact of Tallis meeting Charlie, will remain with her and her family for years to come.

“Charlie didn’t know Gorden would be here,” Katrina said.

“As soon as he saw Gorden, he started crying.

“He jumped up and ran over, asking me ‘is that really Gorden Tallis?’ and when I said yes, he ran over to him.

“Since Charlie was seven, he has watched Gorden’s videos, play by play.

“His dad was a massive Gorden fan and when he was going through chemotherapy before he passed away, he shaved his hair off and would tell Charlie that he was trying to look like Gorden Tallis.

“Ever since then, that is his connection to his dad. It means a lot more than anyone realises.

“Gorden and his family are amazing people. For him to sit there and take the time like he did and talk the kids through little hints and tricks, it was just priceless.

“They are so busy and take time to do little things like this, but the impact is enormous, and these kids will never forget that.

“That is an hour that they will never forget, ever,” she said.

For the Zivkovic family, the school holiday clinic was a much-needed escape from their devastating reality over the last month.

“We were one on the lucky ones in terms of the floods, but we did lose a few things,” Katrina said.

“A lot of our family in the Northern Rivers has lost everything.

“For the kids to come out here and play, the smiles on all the kids faces is so good to see,” she said.

Titans players Tom Weaver & Aaron Booth are from the area and helped run the clinic.
Titans players Tom Weaver & Aaron Booth are from the area and helped run the clinic.

Rugby League legend Gorden Tallis said the clinic was a great way to boost morale across flood effected regions.

“It was a special day for so many of the kids and families affected by the recent floods,” Tallis said.

“24 Rugby League clubs in the Northern Rivers were affected by flooding and this was the first game of footy for some of the players.

“Whilst the water may have subsided, the impact of the recent events will be felt for a very long time by these communities.

“The game of rugby league touches so many people in so many ways.

“For me, meeting people like Charlie and Katrina is a reminder of how rugby league connects families and communities in ways no other sport does. 

“It was so nice to meet Charlie, what a champion,” he said.

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.