Wests Tigers break down barriers to win community award
Rugby League is playing its part in breaking down the stigma around disabilities with the Wests Tigers winning NRL Club Community Program of the Year at the NRL Community Awards for excellence in their Varying Abilities Program.
The program has been a core focus for the club since 2017 and delivers modified activities for children with disabilities such as physical and developmental needs.
Wests Tigers outside back Corey Thompson joined students at Mater Dei Camden for the NRL’s announcement and despite being stirred by the students about the side’s exit prior to the finals, was proud the joint venture had been recognised for their work off the paddock.
“I think it’s massive, when you look at a football club sometimes you see coaches and their staff and talk about when they win or lose and that’s it,” Thompson told NRL.com.
“But all the team behind the scenes that go out to schools every day and promote the Tigers, especially kids with special needs, they don’t get many opportunities to be at the centre of these awards.
“It is really rewarding for our players to get out into the local communities and put a smile on children’s faces.”
A group of 30 students were put through their paces in a skills-based program designed around the fundamentals of the game.
Wests Tigers community coordinator Cassandra Ewens believes the exposure will help others identify and respect people with a disability.
“There’s a misconception on what these kids can and can’t do,” she said.
“A lot of them can keep up with us if you give them a chance. Some of them learn better through sport than the classroom. It’s a special moment for us and huge for these people they are recognised.
“You can see how impactful it is on them and the people who have come out to support them.”
The award is proudly supported by the NSW Government and New South Wales Minister for Multiculturalism and Disability Services, Ray Williams MP acknowledged the need for further disability programs in local communities.
“The NRL has always celebrated their culturally diverse roots and have done that very well,” Williams said.
“The fact it can be an inclusive game by modifying aspects so everyone gets the opportunity then I think it’s seen perfectly through programs.
“Wests Tigers have taken that to a new level with their varying ability program. They’re hands-on, touching the footy, learning how to pass and put the ball down.
“They’re feeling a part of rugby league and the program run celebrates the differences and breaks down the barriers and aspects of bullying.”
Inaugural Foundation Gala Dinner
The Wests Tigers will host the first ever Foundation Gala Dinner to raise money for the club and the proposed Centre of Excellence.
After a successful launch in April of this year, this event is a chance to showcase some of the initiatives and resources that the Wests Tigers Foundation has been able to fund to date.
In addition, the Gala Dinner aims to raise significant funding towards the club’s new Centre Of Excellence.
The $250 ticket price includes:
- A three course meal and 5 hour beverage package.
- A $135 donation to the Wests Tigers Foundation per attendee.
- A tour of the Wests Tigers current training facility and meet and greet with players to be arranged at a date convenient to you prior to the event.
With your support through the purchase of a ticket or table, this night has the potential to change this club forever and set the path for one of the best facilities in Australian sport.
For more information, please contact Wests Tigers Foundation Manager, Shaun Spence on 0409 657 802 or email@example.com.
Wests Tigers boost investment in club with launch of Wests Tigers Foundation
Wests Tigers have today announced the launch of the Wests Tigers Foundation, which has been created to increase the investment that can be made in a range of areas and strengthen the club for the future.
The Wests Tigers Foundation has been developed in partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation and will allow supporters to commit and make a financial donation to the club, with more than $1million already raised.
In partnering with the Australian Sports Foundation, Wests Tigers have created an avenue for supporters to make tax deductable donations to the club that will then be used across a number of programs.
The Wests Tigers Foundation includes three key pillars, Elite, Community and Heritage.
The Elite pillar will focus on increased investment in the club’s Football Department, closing the gap between what Wests Tigers spend on it’s football program and what the competition does.
Wests Tigers currently has more than 60 community programs across its footprint, with the Community pillar allowing for additional resources to be allocated to delivering and expanding the club’s presence in this incredibly important area.
The final pillar of the Wests Tigers Foundation is Heritage, with the club committed to recognising and celebrating the role played by those who have taken to the field for Wests Tigers, Western Suburbs Magpies and Balmain Tigers in the past.
Wests Tigers CEO Justin Pascoe said that the club was proud to launch the Wests Tigers Foundation.
“The Wests Tigers Foundation has been developed to allow us to invest additional funds and resources into a range of areas,” said Pascoe. “It’s gives supporters the opportunity to commit to the club and donate money that will be invested across the Elite, Community and Heritage pillars.
“An incredible amount of work has gone into developing the Wests Tigers Foundation and it’s great to be able to say that we’ve already raised in excess of $1million,” he said. “We’ve reached a time at Wests Tigers where we need to come together as an organisation and fan base and build the future that we want for the club.
“Many of our supporters have been behind us through the ups and downs and we now ask that you take this next journey with us and be a part of the change at Wests Tigers,” said Pascoe. “From there we’ll be able to celebrate together and enjoy the future that we create.”
In developing the Wests Tigers Foundation the club has worked hard to ensure the Foundation has the correct governance structure, putting in place the Wests Tigers Foundation Committee. This Committee will be Chaired by Wests Tigers Board Member James Myatt and be responsible for the ongoing management of the Foundation and distribution of funds, with Shaun Spence to take on the role of Wests Tigers Foundation Manager.
Wests Tigers Foundation Committee Chair James Myatt said the Foundation was a great initiative for the club.
“The Foundation is a fantastic development for Wests Tigers and will allow us to increase our spend and commitment across the three key pillars,” said Myatt. “It’s also key to note that under our charter 100% of the funds will be going to Foundation projects and we’ll be open and transparent with donors on what their money will be spent on.”
Australian Sports Foundation CEO Patrick Walker said that the Wests Tigers Foundation allows supporters to make tax deductible donations to the club.
“The Wests Tigers Foundation is a partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation which raises money for sport via philanthropic and community donations.
“All donations to the Australian Sports Foundation for the Wests Tigers Foundation are tax deductible. Over the past three years, the Sports Foundations has raised over $100 million for sport.”
For more information on the Wests Tigers Foundation visit www.weststigersfoundation.com.au.
Australia wins Physical Disability Rugby League gold at Commonwealth Championships
Wests Tigers would like to congratulate the Australian Physical Disability Rugby League team who won gold at the Commonwealth Championships in Queensland over the weekend.
The Australian team went through the tournament undefeated and without conceding a point, with New Zealand winning the silver medal the Commonwealth All Stars bronze.
Wests Tigers were well represented in the tournament with three players from the club’s Physical Disability Rugby League team winning gold for Australia, one playing for New Zealand and three taking to the field for the Commonwealth All Stars.
George Tonna, Geoff Clarke and Mitch Gleeson were a part of the gold medal winning Australian side with Gleeson the top try scorer for the tournament, crossing the line twice.
Wests Tigers teammate Gary Kingi was a part of New Zealand’s team with Marco Quintao Snr, Marco Quintao and Allan Ross all playing for the Commonwealth All Stars.
Wests Tigers were also a part of the Australian coaching staff, with Community and Fan Engagement Manager Shaun Spence Head Coach for the team.
Spence said that he was impressed with how the players performed across the tournament.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of all of the players who participated in this tournament,” he said. “The level of rugby league was phenomenal, the players really lifted their intensity and to see how much their skill level had improved was really impressive.
“Attending a tournament like this, you can sometimes think that the Disability component will be a side-product compared to the men’s and women’s competitions but it soon became the main attraction because everyone got behind it so well.
“To come away with the gold medal was a huge thrill and a testament to the hard work that all the players put in leading up to the Championships,” said Spence.