NRL team spreads itself around region in ongoing flood relief

Mitchell Craig
Updated April 19 2022 - 1:28pm, first published 1:25pm
Titans on the road to recovery
Titans on the road to recovery

The Gold Coast Titans have partnered with the NRL to deliver the famous Roads to Regions program in the Northern Rivers.

It involves club and school-based visits along with ongoing flood relief.

Lismore-born Brian Kelly currently plays for the Titans and has been involved with the Cabbage Tree Island community while club legend Preston Campbell has also been involved.

"People need help, like I said the first time I came down here it was so overwhelming, seeing so much devastation," Campbell said.

"We can't underestimate the importance of coming in, even if it's just coming down to say hello and have a conversation.

"It is so heart-warming to see people getting together and it shows us just how capable we are working together as human beings."

The Roads to Regions program connects both current and former players, with children and young adults in regional areas to deliver programs based around health and wellbeing, inclusion and diversity and respect.

Players have spent time around Lismore as well as Casino and Kyogle.

hroughout the program, Titans former and current players and NRL staff visited over ten schools and over 400 students aged between eight and fourteen years old.

Regional Manager in Participation and Game Development Wayde Kelly, said the program was a great return after the postponement due to COVID-19.

"This region has been through so much over the last few years," Kelly said.

"From bushfires, to COVID-19 to the devastating floods.

"It has been great getting out to all of these schools, visiting the kids and seeing all of their smiling faces."

The Titans hosted kids and parents from Cabbage Tree Island at a recent game where $10 from every ticket sold when towards flood relief.

Following the announcement of a donation of over $100K from the Gold Coast Titans to flood effected regions, Community Presenting Partner Surfside Buslines helped to transport over 100 people from flood effected communities to the Gold Coast for game day.

Included in those who made the trip up from Cabbage Tree Island were the family of Brian Kelly.

Brian's dad and cousin, Brian Kelly Snr and Simon Kelly, were able to travel up from the flood effected region to watch Brian play and spend some time with Brian's young children in the stands.

"We would like to thank the Titans and Surfside for inviting us all up from the island," Kelly Snr said.

"It's been a very dark few weeks down south, so it's a great way to ease everyone's pain on the island.

"For a lot of the kids, it is their first ever time watching a Rugby League game, so to see the smiles on their faces was just incredible.

"Everyone has been camped up in little rooms and evacuation centres, so to get everyone out is a great day for them all," he said.

Young boys from Cabbage Tree Island, Harry James-Bolt and James Ferguson, also got to meet Gold Coast Titans captain, Tino Fa'asuamalaui, when they facilitated the coin toss before the game.

Mitchell Craig

Mitchell Craig

Senior journalist

Australian Community Media journalist with over 10 years' experience in providing quality news and sport stories.