The first month of the financial year was another testing time for some of our rugby league family dealing with health as well as finance issues. For example, we worked in conjunction with one of our sport’s well known wellbeing organisations; a team with experience spanning a wide spectrum of health issues, especially crisis support. Through them, we were able to support a 13-year-old female Western Sydney Rugby League player. This teenager has suffered extensive trauma from an incident she witnessed at school. Thanks to a referral from her counsellor to one of our wellbeing officers, the Family of League has been able to support/provide counselling to this young lady, allowing her to move forward from this event.
A tiger dealing with the jungle
A legend of the game was recently referred to the Family of League due to his current unfortunate circumstances. This well-known proud Indigenous man was a legend of the game through the 1970s/80s. He played professionally for both Balmain and Canberra Raiders, even representing NSW Country against a touring Great Britain side. After retirement from the game, he was a coach and a prominent Indigenous worker within the NSW Rugby League community.
The later years of his life have brought about many permanent medical conditions, requiring hospitalisation for around 18 months. Exiting hospital, he has found himself in an overwhelming position of a marriage breakdown and no permanent home.
Our wellbeing officer has worked alongside him to ensure he has the finances to keep all his personal possessions as well as someone to discuss his many confronting issues. A caring ear that not only provides support through this transition… but also reflect and reminisce with this gentleman about his wonderful rugby league experiences.
A case of two hands doing the work of many
If you’re a wise man, you’ll never argue against that famous saying: ‘Behind every good bloke, there’s always an exceptional woman (or similar). A saying that sums up this couple. Known as a formidable pair in rugby league circles… with a passion for youth clinics, pathways and development in regional NSW. He was a proud Indigenous man who worked as a regional Indigenous development officer; his passionate wife worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support her husband and the rugby league community. She was his partner in crime and a jack-of-all-trades. A mother to two children with six grandchildren, while also acting as a rugby administrator, financial controller, plus den-mother on four international tours.
Sadly, in 2019 her husband passed away from cancer. She has since struggled with not only losing her best friend but also dealing with the emotional, social and financial hardships of being on her own.
Family of League is embracing her passionate commitment to our beloved sport, and supporting her journey back to good health and prosperity. We have been able to assist her with getting her kitchen renovations completed and covering her home insurance for the next year.
A case very close to home
One of our own wellbeing officers required support from the Family of League. Well known in his rugby league community, he has been part of the Men of League, then Family of League community from the beginning, 21 years ago.
Having incurred multiple shoulder surgeries over the past few years, the hope is his most recent operation will sort out persistent health issues. Enduring a journey of approx 150 km each way to surgery, he was hoping to leave hospital after 3 to 5 days and head back home. Unfortunately, due to several reasons, his recovery has taken longer than anticipated as he spends his fourth week in the ward.
Family of League was able to support, with a visit over a coffee and a warm chat… as well as financial assistance to cover his wife’s travel cost when visiting him. We wish this gentleman a healthy recovery for here, as well as our other wellbeing recipients previously mentioned… plus the multitude we also cared for this month. Stay healthy and happy, everyone!