Wests Tigers forward Tim Grant has spent the past two days assisting with the NRL’s Road to Regions campaign — visiting more than 1500 children in two days.
Grant joined Brisbane Broncos recruit Jack Bird as they visited the South Burnett region of Queensland and centres such as Wondai, Murgon and Kingaroy, with the aim of the program to support rugby league communities in regional and remote areas of Australia where there is no, or limited, NRL club engagement.
NRL players and Jillaroos, past and present, including Cameron King, Anthony Minichiello, Kyle Laybutt, Cheyse Blair, Kurt Capewell and Simaima Taufa are also taking part in the program on tours in other regions.
Grant said visiting remote areas reinforced how “blessed we are to do what we do for a living”.
“When you are in the bubble of everyday NRL you get in your own zone and it is all about Wests Tigers and what you do day-to-day,” he told nrl.com.
“The young people out here love the game so much and are trying really hard to make it.”
The 29-year-old Grant, who played two games for New South Wales in the 2012 State of Origin series, also got a real sense of how much the Maroons mean to young Queenslanders.
He joked about asking the students who supported the Blues. Needless to say, no hands went up.
“They hate NSW at an early age and that comes out in their footy later in life,” Grant grinned.
“Their passion is good to see.”
Clinics were also conducted for aspiring coaches, while on day one of the tour the NRL stars played some golf with volunteer administrators and officials from the local competitions.