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Auckland Rugby League and Youthline aim to make a difference

ARL and Youthline aim to make a difference

Auckland Rugby League officially signed off on their new partnership with charity organisation Youthline at a ceremony in Ponsonby last week.

The official Memorandum of Understanding was signed at Youthline following a powhiri for ARL dignitaries.

In attendance was Auckland Rugby League Chairman Dene Biddlecombe, CEO John Ackland, Football Operations Manager Gordon Gibbons and Director Rob Hellriegel.

During his address, Dene Biddlecombe highlighted how the partnership could assist young New Zealanders who are moving to Australian Rugby League clubs, with the ambition of becoming professional rugby league players.

“Over the past five years, this has averaged about 60 boys per season from Auckland clubs alone,” he said.

“The majority of these young men are unsuccessful and many of them end up alone in Australia without money, family, a career or any prospects.

“Others return to New Zealand, some with serious injuries that require rehabilitation at great personal and family cost, often funded by the New Zealand taxpayer.”

Dene Biddlecombe and John Ackland are visiting the NRL in early April to discuss this issue.

Youthline CEO Stephen Bell also spoke of the great potential the partnership presented in terms of helping youth in the region.

“We hope it will assist young people to know where to go for help and enable them to reach out when they need to,” Bell said.

Along with making Youthline resources available through every Auckland Rugby League club, the partnership is also seen as a fantastic way to spread the message throughout the various rugby league communities about the services Youthline has to offer.

ENDS

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