Father Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets is a wonderful cause and the main reason Sydney Roosters legend Brad Fittler started the Hogs for the Homeless tour, which rolled into Orange on Friday, but there is one other major benefactor from the fundraising event.
The NSW Blues.
“Hopefully we can drum up some support for NSW as well,” Manly legend Steve Menzies, one of a handful of former NRL and State of Origin stars in the colour city with Fittler, laughed.
“You know, there’s plenty of kids around NSW who had never seen the Blues win until a couple of years ago. We used to go to schools and ask who goes for Queensland, and 80 per cent of kids would stick their hands up.
“So we thought, let’s change that. But obviously the main reason we’re out here is for Hogs for the Homeless, it’s in its fifth year and we’ve raised more than $500,000 now.”
Fittler and Menzies were joined by South Sydney and Balmain Tigers hero Tim Brasher, Steve ‘Blocker’ Roach, Josh Perry, Nathan Hindmarsh and Ian Schubert at Waratahs Sportsground on Friday for a come and try clinic, before a gala dinner at Duntryleague that night.
Menzies joined the tour in its third year and said it was a “no brainer” to get involved.
“Fletch (Brian Fletcher) and Hindy, wait, no, Freddie and Hindy started up in the first two. Fletch and Hindy, I’m sick of those two,” Menzies laughed, referring to the segment the three produce on the Matty Johns Show.
“Freddie started it five years ago and Hindy was with him and then he sort of just asked a few more boys each year, Tim Brasher’s here this year which is great.
“It’s a great cause, we come out and put on some clinics and the kids all have big smiles on their faces, they love it, so it’s a win for everybody.
“We had a great turnout at [Orange and Bathurst on Friday], it’s pretty.”
This year Orange was the third stop on the list for the group, which is working its way through western NSW to eventually land in Walgett.
“The whole No.1 ground out there is going to get re-done, re-surfaced, it’ll be world class,” Menzies said, the upgrade is thanks to Hogs for the Homeless and a number of assisting businesses.
“I think we’re even going to roll out the first few rolls of turf. But that will be huge for the area, we’ve also got several girls’ nines tournaments over the next few days.
“Obviously women’s and girls’ league, tag and touch is becoming so huge, so we thought we’d do what we can to help promote that too.”
You’d be surprised, even in this state, how many stick their hands up when you ask ‘who here goes for Queensland’.
fifth year, freddie started it.
father chris riley and he like riding bikes
“You know, this sort of area doesn’t get to see the Hindmarshes, Fittlers, or NRL players as often as it probably should