Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler will help hand over a bus in Tumut to children with disabilities, squeeze in a game of beach football in Lennox Head, box with Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues assistant coach Danny Buderus, sell a sheep in Carcoar, and re-turf a school playing field in Baulkham Hills as this year’s Hogs For The Homeless tour was officially launched.
Fittler was joined at the launch at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence on Monday 11 February by NSW Minister for Police, the Hon. Troy Grant, NSWRL Foundation Chairman Barry O’Farrell, Youth off the Street founder Father Chris Riley, NSWRL Chief Executive David Trodden, Rugby League icon Ian Schubert, Trues Blues Mark O’Meley and Michael Buettner and NSW Women’s Origin player Kezie Apps.
Hogs For The Homeless started in 2013 and has raised almost $700,000 for Youth off the Streets. This year‘s tour will take in more than 10 towns across regional NSW, see the riders travel almost 4000 kilometres, and 5000 footballs handed out to children along the way.
Fittler will be joined by a host of True Blues along the way including Buderus, Nathan Hindmarsh, Steve Menzies, Mark O’Meley, Michael Buettner, Greg Alexander, Rugby League legend Nathan Blacklock, and NSW Women’s Origin player Kezie Apps.
The tour will also welcome new partners the NSW Police and PCYC NSW (who will run Fit for Life boxing for fitness clinics along the route at PCYC Moree, PCYC Tamworth, PCYC Orange, Tumut and PCYC Wagga Wagga), Red Energy (who have played a major role in the bus delivery), and the Australian Hotels Association.
“The Hogs For The Homeless tour has been a big part of my life and I look forward to the ride every year,” Fittler said.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to give back to the community every year and all the riders who take part really buy into what we’re doing.
“There’s a lot of people around the state who do it tough and it’s a humbling experience to know they can get a lift from just a simple hello, or having a chat.
“There’s also a lot of people from all over NSW who have great stories to share and I really enjoy spending time with them.”
NSW Minister for Police, the Hon. Troy Grant said the Police and PCYC are really looking forward to taking part in this year’s tour.
“We might be the lucky country, but there are a lot of Australians who are down on their luck, and Hogs For The Homeless is a great initiative that provides some amazing support for those individuals, and lets them know they’re not alone, people do care, and they’re willing to do something about it,” Mr Grant said.
“Having raised more than half a million dollars to get young people off the streets in recent years, I’m incredibly excited to see what will be achieved on this year’s tour with the additional support of the NSW Police Force and PCYC who will be engaging with local communities along the way to deliver crucial messages and resources for young people.”
Father Chris Riley, who was presented a cheque for $70,000 by NSWRL Foundation Chairman Barry O’Farrell for last year’s tour, said it was great to see NRL legends coming together and supporting young people in need.
“The funds from the ride will be used to support our 35 services across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria,” Father Chris Riley said.
“The Hogs For The Homeless ride is a staple in our events calendar. The vital funds it raises contributes to the success of Youth Off The Streets and helps our kids to unlock their full potential.
“I would like to thank Brad, Ian, NSW Rugby League and all the people who helped organise and support the Hogs For The Homeless ride for their hard work and commitment to young people in need.”
Fittler and the riders will attend a sponsor’s dinner on Thursday 14 February at Terrey Hills Tavern before departing for the tour on Friday 15 February at Brookvale Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. The tour will conclude with a re-turf of Jasper Road Public School at Baulkham Hills on Saturday 23 February.
Please note this is a basic overview of the Hogs For The Homeless schedule and is subject to change. Further releases will be issued during the tour.
|Fri, 15 Feb||5pm||Port Macquarie||Junior Touch Football State Cup|
|Sat, 16 Feb||4.30pm||Lennox Head||Beach clinic|
|Sun, 17 Feb||4.30pm||Moree||PCYC clinic|
|Mon, 18 Feb||7.30am||Moree||Fit for Life PCYC clinic|
|Mon, 18 Feb||4.30pm||Tamworth||Footy clinic|
|Tues, 19 Feb||7.30am||Tamworth||Fit for Life PCYC clinic|
|Tues, 19 Feb||9.30am||Scone||High School visits|
|Tues, 19 Feb||4.30pm||Orange||Footy clinic|
|Wed, 20 Feb||7.30am||Orange||Fit for Life PCYC clinic|
|Wed, 20 Feb||9.30am||Carcoar||Sheep auctions|
|Wed, 20 Feb||6.30pm||Tumut||Footy clinic and bus key handover|
|Thurs, 21 Feb||9am||Tumut||Bus handover at Gadara Special School|
|Thurs, 21 Feb||4.30pm||Wagga||Footy clinic|
|Fri, 22 Feb||7.30am||Wagga||Fit for Life PCYC clinic|
|Fri, 22 Feb||8am||Wagga||Volunteer Breakfast|
|Fri, 22 Feb||10am||Wagga||Junior Touch Football State Cup|
|Sat, 23 Feb||1pm||Baulkham Hills||Jasper Road School re-turf|
NSWRL Communications Manager Stuart Honeysett will be on the tour and is available on 0414 266 546. He will be able to help media outlets with photographs, video footage and interviews.