St George Illawarra players Cameron McInnes, Zac Lomax, Tim Lafai, Euan Aitken and Kezie Apps on Wednesday morning helped launch the 2019 'The Best You Can Be' health and wellbeing school resource at Hayes Park Public School.
Already in great demand, close to 300 teachers and 6000 students have embraced the Stage 3 and 4 curriculum-based primary school resource to assist them in achieving important health and wellbeing outcomes.
Themes in the 2019 'The Best You Can Be' resource include lessons on: body image, resilience, respect, goal setting, cyber safety, hydration and nutrition, sleep, friendship and being active.
The club are fortunate to have Dragons ambassadors from other sports involved with 'The Best You Can Be' school resource. They include national sport stars Sally Fitzgibbons (surfing), Emma McKeon (swimming) and Grace Stewart (hockey) as well as almost 20 NRL and NRLW Dragons players.
Dragons players in particular understand their privileged standing in the community, whereby they can promote and encourage, either directly or indirectly, the physical, cultural and intellectual welfare of young people in our community.
Current Dragons co-captain Cameron McInnes stressed the importance of programs like 'The Best You Can Be', and how it encourages and inspires youngsters in all facets of life.
"As the son of school teachers and now a dad, I know how important education is to the development of students as they progress through different stages of life," McInnes said.
"Not only does 'The Best You Can Be' program enhance children's learning, it also helps them become better people. As players, we understand the unique position we're in where we can positively promote and encourage others to pursue a healthy lifestyle."
The club aims to encourage youth to make positive choices around health, education and social issues and are fully aware how sport can be very effective in achieving social change.
Thanks to our major supporter, the University of Wollongong, the Dragons have been able to produce a most effective and interactive resource. Former Dean of Education, and current board director of the NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA) Professor Paul Chandler wholeheartedly endorses 'The Best You Can Be' resource.
"The Dragons sit at the cutting edge in providing high quality educational resources to support primary and secondary schools," Mr. Chandler said.
"They set the benchmark for NRL teams in engaging educational communities and inspiring young people to be the best they can be. The number of schools and students involved in this year program is very impressive."
Participating teacher Anton Petkovic from Hayes Park Public School applauded 'The Best You Can Be' program for its effectiveness in meeting PD/H/PE outcomes.
"We have been using 'The Best You Can Be' resource for five years at Hayes Park Public School and our students have greatly benefited using them to set learning and fitness goals," Mr Petkovic said.
"They also help plan out their assessments for the term and assists them with making positive lifestyle choices. Meeting players provides students with positive role models and encourages them to participate in sporting activities."
The St George Illawarra Dragons are driven by its role as a representative of our community and committed to the positive role it plays within it. Supporting schools, teachers and students has been the club's focus for over two decades now.
To date, the Dragons have delivered the 'The Best You Can Be' program to 57 schools, 300 teachers and 6000 students throughout the Dragons' region, from Earlwood in the St George area to Eden on the South Coast.