Men of League Tackling the Drought tour visits Narromine

Footy stars including Darren Britt, Rod Silva, Les Davidson, Greg Florimo and David 'Cement' Gillespie, recently joined more than 60 former first grade players in helping boost the morale of Narromine farmers as part of Men of League's Tackling the Drought tour.

The tour was conceptualised by former premiership-winning Canterbury Bulldogs player Joe Thomas who, after witnessing the barren countryside, felt compelled to help. As a result five buses transported the former first grade players willing to help out to Narromine, Gilgandra and Mudgee offering communities a break, while providing the opportunity to meet some sporting legends. 

On Friday Narromine residents were treated as the tour bus rolled into town with 13 players to help lift the spirits and boost the morale of those affected by drought. 

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“We wanted to visit smaller towns and show that we truly care,” Tackling the Drought tour’s Troy Whittaker said. 

“Narromine is a fantastic place and it was a pleasure to stop in and meet the locals.”

On the bus included notable players such as Greg Florimo, Les Davidson, Darren Britt and Rod Silva. Mr Whittaker said they also had Narromine locals including David ‘Cement’ Gillespie and David and Garry Walsh.

“It was special to see the reception they got when we visited the town,” he said.

The bus arrived just in time for the ‘Rugby League the Musical’ with Denis Carnahan, to provide much needed entertainment an laughs for residents. 

“Rugby League the Musical was hilarious. Denis is exceptionally talented and had everyone in stitches,” Mr Whittaker said.

It was an honour for us to visit Narromine. We hope we brought some amount of joy while we were there and we have our fingers crossed that sustained rain is on its way to you.

Tackling the Drought Tour, Troy Whittaker

“The players enjoyed the show immensely and hopefully the locals in attendance had just as much fun,” he said.

On Saturday morning a NRL supported coaching clinic was held at Cale Oval for all junior rugby league enthusiasts to hone their skills with some of the game’s best.

”The coaching clinic was run by the NRL but the visiting players joined in the drills and put the kids through their paces,” Mr Whittaker said. 

“It was awesome to see the kids smiling and laughing while passing the footy.

“They then posed for photos and received autographs from the players and were given NRL club merchandise,” he said. 

Mr Whittaker said it was a fantastic tour, and an “honour" to visit Narromine. 

“We hope we brought some amount of joy while we were there and we have our fingers crossed that sustained rain is on its way to you,” Mr Whittaker said. 

If you, or someone you know, is struggling financially or emotionally due to the drought, contact wellbeing@menofleague.com

To become a member of the Men of League Foundation to ensure continued support for events like the Tackling the Drought tour, visit www.menofleague.com

Do you have photos from the Tackling the Drought Tour? We would love to see them! 

Send us your photos for our online gallery by emailing our journalist Zack Marlan via zaarkacha.marlan@fairfaxmedia.com.au