The NRL is to celebrate its Men of League round this weekend, in which it pays tribute to the many men in rugby league who help others through tough times.
NRL CEO todd Greenberg explained that the concept has a wide ranging brief, and does not only focus on former players who are now struggling.
“Our game has thousands of players, coaches and officials from grassroots through to the elite level and retired,” Greenberg told NRL.com.
“Every now and then, members of our Rugby League communities need our support and care when facing difficulties and tough times.
“The Men of League Foundation is a wonderful example of the good in our game and I encourage every one of our fans to consider either joining the Foundation or supporting the efforts of local committees, to ensure that together, we continue to care for one another off the field.”
Men of League CEO Peter Collins lauded the people who work hard to make the concept work.
“Rugby league is blessed to have such generous fans who never give up on their team and never hesitate to lend a hand when those around them are doing it tough,” he said.
“The Men of League Foundation is committed to ensuring that those who are a part of or have been a part of our game at any level are supported when they need it most.”
Men of League Round to help raise awareness and funds. Support includes:
– Men of League signage on-field and at matches
– Referees wearing Men of League jerseys
– Broncos, Titans, Eels, Sharks, Wests Tigers and Sea Eagles players will wear Men of League socks for their matches
– Men of League volunteers acknowledged on ground
– Conduct more than 150 events annually to raise awareness and support
– 40 local committees established nation-wide
– Welfare officers provide more than 5,000 hours annually to members who are ill or socially disadvantaged
– The Foundation has dispensed over $4.5 million dollars in benevolent assistance since 2002, supporting men, women and children of all ages and from all parts of the game who have suffered injury or illness and have found themselves suffering from financial hardship
Men of League volunteers will also be at grounds handing out clap banners to fans and collecting donations.
Fans can purchase playing socks as well as other merchandise online at menofleague.com
Fans also have the option of donating to the Foundation online.
Men of League Round commences on Thursday 21 July with the match between the Cowboys and Bulldogs in Townsville and runs through to Monday night football, which will see the Rabbitohs take on the Sea Eagles in Sydney.