KINGS OF THE KIDS: Panthers stars (from left) Jamie Soward, James Segeyaro, Bryce Cartwright, Matt Moylan and Isaah Yeo with Bathurst mayor Gary Rush and local kids at the Kelso Community Centre yesterday. Photo: ZENIO LAPKA 072414zleagueTHE Penrith Panthers have been busy meeting Bathurst fans – and indulging in the odd push-up contest – ahead of their clash with the Cronulla Sharks at Carrington Park tomorrow.
Panthers players dropped into The Cathedral School and The Assumption Schoolyesterday morning and visited the Kelso Community Centre in the afternoon.
Captain Peter Wallace and team-mates Brent Kite and Dean Whare visited thestudents at the Cathedral, where they emphasised that football was about friendship, fitness and fun.
They were met with cheers from the students, who were delighted when the players challenged a student and teacher to a push-up and arm- wrestling contest.
Year 6 student Jack Reen was thrilled to meet and hear from the Penrith players.
“I have been playing league for two years,” he said. “I’m really excited that an NRL game is coming to Bathurst and that the guys have come in to our school.”
He is a Sydney Roosters supporter, but Jack said he would be supporting the Panthers tomorrow.
“I’m going to the game on theweekend with my family and I am really looking forward to it.”
Penrith captain Peter Wallace said it was great for the team to get out tocountry towns and meet regional fans.
“The kids out here are really respectful and appreciate our visit, as they don’t get to see as many footy players as the kids in the city,” he said.
“It is great to visit them at school and on Wednesday afternoon we had a skill session with some kids which went really well.”
Wallace said they enjoyed entertaining the kids and answering their questions.
Prop Brent Kite added it was good to encourage more children to get involved in the sport.
“The kids get a kick out of it, especially the young footy players; it is a real novelty for them,” he said of the visit.
He said the Panthers’ five-yearcommitment to bring NRL matches to Bathurst would be great for Country Rugby League and the community.
Meanwhile, at The Assumption School, the ball boy and girl for the big NRL clash, Jack Lynch and Molly McCrossin, were presented with jerseys from Penrithplayers Lewis Brown and Nigel Plum.
Jack and Molly got the coveted role after winning a pass the ball competition against other Bathurst students at Carrington Park on Tuesday.
Jack said he and Molly had to throw the ball through a hole as many times as possible in one minute.
Molly, who doesn’t play rugby league, said she can’t wait to meet all the players tomorrow.
After presenting the jerseys, Brown and Plum spoke to the students about their careers and the sacrifices they made.
Brown summed it up for the students, telling them to “stay fit and healthy, listen to your parents, do your homework and get a good education”, all of which he said were instrumental to success.
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