North Queensland Toyota Cowboys player Scott Bolton and NYC forward Braden Uele headed west last week as part of the club’s Try Time! program, aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle choices to teenagers.
Thursday's excursion to Cloncurry saw the Try Time! team deliver their "only dead fish go with the flow" message to students.
A partnership between South32 Cannington Mine, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) and the Cowboys, the Try Time! program ran workshops with Year 9 students at Cloncurry State High School and St Joseph’s Catholic School.
Bolton, Uele, Cowboys staff members and six YWAM staff and volunteers were part of the Cloncurry visit, with the central topic being issues associated with substance abuse, particularly drugs and alcohol.
Cloncurry State School principal Christine Norton said the program continued to have a positive impact on students.
"It's great to have access to this vital program in rural and remote communities," she said.
The Try Time! team has already delivered over 147 sessions to some 2,500 students across North Queensland so far in 2015.
Aside from Cloncurry, the Try Time! team runs the workshops in most Townsville high schools, including on Palm Island, while a modified program is also run at Julia Creek for primary school students.
The program has four modules for schools to select from to fit their teaching curriculum:
1. Substance abuse (drugs & binge drinking)
2. Active lifestyle (body image & self esteem)
3. Goals (values)
4. Active lifestyle (engaging in life)
Each module involves a high level of interactivity, with students surveyed after the sessions to get a perspective of their understanding of the content and knowledge gained.
Cowboys general manager - community relations Fiona Pelling said that the feedback from students and teachers involved in the program was consistently positive and showed an improved awareness of the issues covered.
"For example, each time the program is delivered students are asked about what things would help people stay away from drugs," Ms Pelling said.
"The most common responses are: staying in school and making a life for themselves; being open and getting support from family and friends when they need it; being active, staying healthy and having good friends; and learning more about the effects of different drugs earlier in life.
"We're thrilled to be making a difference and thank our partners South32 Cannington Mine and YWAM for their valuable contribution."