ABOUT 1000 kids got the chance to rub shoulders with the NSW State of Origin team at Oakes Oval this afternoon.
Star halfback Nathan Cleary was in hot demand along with Penrith Panthers teammates Jarome Luia and Brian To'o.
Rising star Matt Burton a returning Jack Wighton were also popular.
NSW State of Origin Head Coach Brad Fittler spoke of the spirit of the people of Lismore when the team warmed up for a training session.
He said it was the same spirit they hoped to take into next week's decider in Brisbane.
Met by chants of "NSW, NSW" Fittler said the players were excited to be in Lismore.
"Given what has happened over the past four months, the biggest thing that we've found is the spirit that we've seen that's come across in the media. About people helping each other out and just being there for each other," Fittler said.
"They're the same messages that we speak to our team about - just playing for each other, and being there for each other.
"I think Lismore has been a great example and its a great opportunity for us to come here and see it first hand.
"Great to see the kids have a lot of voice."
Original story: THE NSW State of Origin will be in Lismore today with a focus on youth from flood-affected parts of the Northern Rivers.
NSW Rugby League, NSW Police and Lismore City Council, have joined forces to stage a ticketed free event for the selected fourteen to 16-year-old kids from 10 schools and clubs between Lismore and Murwillumbah.
The selected participants, identified by community leaders as an age group heavily impacted by the disruptions and devastation of the floods, have been given the opportunity to watch the Blues train as they kick-off their campaign to retain the State of Origin Shield in the series decider of the 2022 in Brisbane next week.
"I would like to thank the Blues and NSW Rugby League for their ongoing support for Lismore," mayor Steve Krieg said.
"When they visited Lismore just after the flood, they promised that the Blues would visit again before the third Origin game, and true to their word they are on their way back.
"These visits do so much for the spirit of our city. I know come Wednesday night when the Blues run onto the field at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, all of Lismore will be behind them."
NSWRL Chief Commercial Officer Jodie Cross paid tribute to Marist Brothers Lismore and the NSWRL sponsor family, in particular Lion, for assisting in bringing the team to Lismore and ongoing goodwill to the community.
"Often when there has been a devastating event like the flooding experienced in the Northern Rivers region earlier this year, it is the aftermath where even greater impact is felt," Cross said.
"We made a promise to the mayor when we visited in March that we would endeavour to come back to the community to ensure we have a long-standing relationship in helping the community to heal. We are there for the long haul.
"In a further show of support in addition to the Blues training experience, the NSWRL, together with our partner Lion, will also host an intimate dinner with the Mayor, NSW Police and those in the community who had played a major role in the recovery activities."
NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon APM said: "The whole community has been significantly impacted by the floods, in particular the children, many of whom have had schooling arrangements changed and reduced opportunities to play sport.
"NSW Police Force is proud to work with the NSW Rugby League and Lismore City Council to put on a Blues training session for up to 1000 school students from across the Northern Rivers region.
"The session is about providing an opportunity for students to see their sporting heroes and lift optimism that the community is recovering.
"I commend the NSWRL, Freddy (Brad) Fittler and the Blues players for giving of their time to benefit the community."
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