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NRL kicks off partnership with the Salvos

NRL kicks off partnership with the Salvos

NRL kicks off partnership with the Salvos

3 March 2020

Captain Rod Parsons (centre left) and Major Topher Holland (centre right) before the NRL match in Bega with match officials, who are wearing The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal logo.

By Jessica Morris

The National Rugby League (NRL) has partnered with The Salvation Army for a historic week of football, goodwill and generosity in bushfire-hit southern New South Wales.

The NRL and the NRL Women’s league threw their support behind the Salvos in the ‘Road to Regions Tour’, as current players and some former stars from 16 clubs travelled across 40 communities last week to raise funds for The Salvation Army Drought Relief Appeal and the Bushfire Disaster Appeal.

It culminated in the EISS Super Sapphire Trial Tribute match between the Penrith Panthers and Parramatta Eels in Bega on Saturday, with The Salvation Army having a strong presence at the ground. Close to 5000 fans packed the venue and supported a good cause.

Shieldy was a hit with the kids at Saturday’s NRL trial game in Bega.

“This is a new partnership with the NRL this year, and we are very excited to partner with them around the disaster space,” said Emily Whitehouse, The Salvation Army Corporate Partnerships Relationship Manager.

“They came to us and wanted to raise money for drought, bushfire and other disasters, like the ongoing recovery from the Townsville floods last year.”

During Saturday’s game, refereeing officials and players wore The Salvation Army Disaster Relief logo, the Army’s mascot Shieldy mixed with the crowd and volunteers collected donations.

At half-time, The Salvation Army General Manager of Strategic Emergency and Disaster Management, Major Topher Holland, addressed the crowd, taking them through the Army’s stages of bushfire recovery and explaining how to give and receive assistance.

“The Salvation Army has an ongoing presence in this community,” Topher said. “We will be there in the long term in the Bega Valley region for those who have been affected through this bushfire season, and The Salvation Army will be there for the long haul, giving hope where hope is needed most.”

Captain Rod Parsons, Bega Corps Officer, was one of the many Salvo staff and volunteers who mingled with the crowd.

Rod was also heavily involved in the week leading up the Bega match, heading up a Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) team that ran a community barbecue at Bemboka, where more than 200 locals mixed with players. 

“It’s an honour to partner with the NRL. There’s a huge following down here on the NSW South Coast, and being part of the Road to Regions Tour is fantastic in that it raises our profile,” said Rod.

The Salvation Army was also invited to a community dinner in Merimbula, where Topher and Major David McMurray (NSW/ACT Secretary for Public Relations) met with NRL executives to support the South Coast bushfire-hit community.

wide support

NRL clubs eagerly threw their support behind the Salvos before the Road to Regions Tour. The Brisbane Broncos raised $7000 in an auction, and the Parramatta Eels raised $25,000 through a community fun day.

Another wave of support is expected to come when the NRL caps off the Road to RegionsTour in the first round of the NRL competition. During each game, the crowd and television viewers will hear about the Salvos’ disaster response, and be encouraged to donate to The Salvation Army’s work in disaster relief.

The NRL first round kicks off on 12 March.

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