Mal Meninga & PM’s XIII visit Cairns for Men of League Foundation Dinner

Local rugby league teams, fans and players from around Far North Queensland are being invited to join the Men of League Foundation for an evening with Mal Meninga and the Prime Minister’s XIII on Wednesday 20 September at Brothers League Club, Cairns.

Organised by the Men of League Foundation Far North Queensland Committee, the evening will be a chance to rub shoulders with rugby league elite whilst helping to raise important funds for the Men of League Foundation and its work with the men, women and children of the rugby league community.

Prime Minister’s XIII coach, Mal Meninga, said that the team would be looking forward to the evening and helping the Foundation, whilst remaining focussed on the task ahead in their trip to Papua New Guinea for their annual clash.

“The Prime Minister’s XIII is an important part of our representative calendar, especially in this Rugby League World Cup year. We will have a strong team with lots of experienced players and we’ll be playing against a committed and spirited Papua New Guinea team,” said Mal.

“We’ll be going to Papua New Guinea with a purpose and to build for the Rugby League World Cup. Our team will be strong and determined to put in a good effort to earn further honours later in the year.

“It will be a pleasure to call into Cairns on our way north, visit with the Men of League Foundation and help raise some awareness and funds for their work with the rugby league community in Far North Queensland,” Mal concluded

Men of League Foundation’s Queensland State Manager, Darryl Van de Velde, says that the evening is sure to be popular with the rare chance for the local rugby league community to interact with the top tier of Australian rugby league and encourages everyone in the Cairns region to come along and take part.

“It’s a great honour for us to be hosting the Prime Minister’s XIII on their way to their annual match against Papua New Guinea. There will be some top-class players in the room, including Maroons icon and the Prime Minister’s XIII Coach Mal Meninga. Our dinner gives people the chance to meet them and even have a touring player sit at their table,” said Darryl.

“Funds raised from the evening go to helping the Men of League Foundation to care for those from within the rugby league community who may have fallen on hard times and need some assistance. We help people with a range of services from visits to those who may be feeling socially isolated to household improvements and financial support,” Darryl concluded.

Men of League Foundation’s Queensland Wellbeing and Education Officer Mark Bunting, says that with teamwork and mateship the cornerstones of rugby league since its inception, the Men of League Foundation provide practical assistance and social support to those most in need within the rugby league family with everything from surgery, rehabilitation, equipment and specialist care to wellbeing visits to homes and hospitals.

“Whether you are a man, woman or child; whether you are an ex-player, an administrator, referee or club volunteer, the Men of League Foundation provide a wide range of wellbeing support to those within the rugby league community who are in genuine need,” Mark said.

“Locally in far north Queensland, we’ve been able to assist rugby league icon and Innisfail Brothers product Lionel Williamson. Lionel was a tackle busting winger with a quick turn of pace that helped make him a crowd favourite in the 1960s and 1970s.

“Lionel recently suffered a heart attack after returning from the Confraternity Rugby League Carnival in Brisbane. This has seen Lionel hospitalised and needing some support during his recovery. We have been able to step in, assist Lionel and play a small role to ensure he is on the road to a full recovery.

“It’s been heart-warming to assist, and pass on many well-wishes, to such a well-known player who has given so much to the rugby league community over many years. Supporting Lionel in his time of need is just a small example of the range of services that we offer the rugby league community and we’re proud of the work that we do,” Mark concluded.

Tickets for the dinner are available from Brothers Leagues Club. If you can’t join the Foundation on the night but would like to become a member or donate, please click here.

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