Continuous Call Team heads to Bega for the Sapphire Trial Tribute
The Continuous Call Team broadcast LIVE from Bega for the EISS Sapphire Trial Tribute.
The NRL relocated the “Battle of the West” trial game between the Panthers and Eels from Penrith to Bega as part of a three-day festival of footy to help support the area hit hard by recent bushfires.
The three-day festival sees players from both Panthers and Eels embedded in the region as part of the game’s overarching Road to Regions program. The community initiative involves player visits to the small towns ravaged by bushfire, providing help in communities and doing what they can to help the locals get back in the game.
All profits from ticket sales and donations made through Ticketek will go to The Salvation Army’s Rural Assistance Appeal which helps rural communities and individuals who’ve been affected by the drought and bushfires.
Eels coach Brad Arthur popped into the marquee ahead of the clash. In addition to fine tuning the squad ahead of the season opener, Arthur said this experience was an important one for the young members of his squad.
“A lot of these blokes that play NRL today come straight from school without having to work so they don’t really have an appreciation of how lucky they are. Then you come to a place like this and see how affected it is. It allows them to put things in perspective”.
Bega mayor Kristy McBain told the Continuous Call Team that having an NRL presence in Bega did wonders for the local community.
“I can’t thank the NRL enough. We’ve had five NRL teams down here at different points over the last few weeks. This week has been absolutely amazing with the Eels and the Panthers coming in. They’ve gone to a heap of schools, run community coaching clinics, they’re out spending money at our restaurants, they’re training at our gyms. They do stick out like sore thumbs so everybody knows that we’ve got some NRL players in town so it’s great”
Prior to kick off, the crowd at Bega acknowledged the selfless work of the emergency services. NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons popped in to reflect on the devastation of the summer and the importance of community events like the Sapphire Coast tribute.
“When you see things like football coming to town, there’s something else for the kids to talk about when they go back to school. They can reflect on the day. It is so important for the psychological recovery, kids and adults alike”.
And yes, the boys did forgive him for wearing a Manly jersey!