Former Lower Clarence junior Daine Laurie in action against Canberra Raiders in Round 24 of the NYC competition at GIO Stadium Canberra on August 20 2017. NRL Photos/Keegan Carroll
Former Lower Clarence junior Daine Laurie in action against Canberra Raiders in Round 24 of the NYC competition at GIO Stadium Canberra on August 20 2017. NRL Photos/Keegan Carroll

Sticks to Stadium on the lookout for the next Panthers star

RUGBY LEAGUE :Coffs/Clarence Police District will team up with the Penrith Panthers for a third straight year as part of the Sticks to Stadium program, but it needs your help.

Looking to create opportunities for young indigenous role models in our community, the program gives participants the chance to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"This is a rewards program for 11 indigenous high school students who are attending school and displaying leadership skills and positive behaviours within the school community," Coffs/Clarence Police District spokeswoman Tammy Nagle said.

"The program is partially funded by Panthers Leagues Club and the NSW Police Force Aboriginal Strategic Direction.

"It consists of a visit to the Penrith Panthers' training facility and learning about the day-to-day running of a profession­al football team, meeting players and staff, along with attending the captain's run and Penrith Panthers versus Manly Sea Eagles on June 26."

Often a challenge to score a spot, Coffs/Clarence Police District has found a strong relationship with the Panthers in recent years to increase its involvement.

"The Sticks to Stadium program is only run three times per year and is open to any organisation to make an application to secure one of the spots available. Historically, each organisation usually receives this opportunity only once," Nagle said.

"Consecutively, this is the third year that we have had the privilege of securing a position in this program. This is due to the strong relationship that has been formed between us and the ongoing positive interactions that have continued to develop with the youth attending the program."

Nagle said even after the program was completed, it had a positive impact on the participants moving forward.

"Upon return from the Sticks to Stadium program, the participants continue to be role models for other young people within their communities and stay active participants in future programs that are hosted by the NSW Police Force and/or PCYC," she said.

While the CCPD enjoys being able to help the community secure spots in the program, it does not have the financial means to pay for the whole experience.

"Due to the geographical location of the Clarence Valley and extra accommodation required, we are seeking additional funding to assist with costs associated with transport, external activities not funded by Panthers and miscellaneous expenses while in Sydney," Nagle said.

"Most of the participants are from low socio-economic families and our goal is to have zero expenditure for participants. Therefore, we are seeking donations from various businesses and organisations to assist in the reduction of these expenses.

For further information, contact Tammy Nagle on 6691 0799, John Skinner, Aboriginal community liaison officer at Grafton Police Station, on 6642 0222 or through email on skin1joh@police.nsw.gov.au.