The Tackling the Drought tour is a rugby league led call to action, reaching out and connecting with the men, women and children of drought-stricken communities in regional and rural New South Wales.
An initiative driven by the Men of League Foundation, the tour will consist of five buses travelling to numerous rural towns in five regional communities, over three days from Friday 5 October to Sunday 7 October. Each bus will contain at least five former or current first grade rugby league players.
With a timetable of activities in each venue, the tour will provide much needed support and good cheer to those who have struggled during one of the worst droughts in New South Wales’ history.
The Tackling the Drought initiative was kick-started by former Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs forward Joe Thomas, who was visiting the town of Mudgee earlier this Winter and instantly moved to action when he was alerted to the fact that farmers were bringing in water to feed their crops.
Joe quickly realised that whilst financial support was needed, the emotional and psychological support, the camaraderie reflected in a sport such as rugby league, would be greatly appreciated by those who were doing it tough.
Before long, Joe’s suggestion had grown considerable legs alongside the Men of League Foundation, and through social media and word of mouth, news of the tour spread quickly throughout the rugby league community, with former and current first grade players registering their interest in attending the tour.
Current registrations include Darryl Brohman, Ben Elias, Greg Florimo and Dean Widders to name just a few of those who have booked their seats at the back of the bus.
The selected drought affected communities are:
- Bus 1 – Glen Innes, Inverell & Armidale
- Bus 2 – Coolah, Cassilis/Merriwa & Scone
- Bus 3 – Narromine, Gilgandra & Mudgee
- Bus 4 – Parkes, Cowra & Forbes
- Bus 5 – Griffith, Rankin Springs & Narrandera
The Foundation has strategically chosen these locations across the state, moving away from larger populated cities and towns, to acknowledge the battlers in the rugby league heartland, those smaller towns that have bred some of rugby league’s best.
The Tour will host events such as Kick Off Clubs, Bowls Days and rugby league clinics for young aspiring rugby league stars! Further details still to come.