Tonight's North Queensland Toyota Cowboys v Bulldogs game kicks off the NRL's Men of League Round, recognising the many people who, through the Men of League Foundation, dedicate their time and resources to helping those who have fallen on hard times.
Established in 2002, the Men of League Foundation has assisted thousands of players, coaches, referees, officials, administrators and importantly, their families, through difficult times.
Men of League Round provides an opportunity for the game and fans to recognise the efforts of the Men of League volunteers, welfare officers and staff, together with raising awareness and ongoing funds for the Foundation to deliver invaluable services and support.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the Foundation was not just about supporting retired players but provides a vital level of care and assistance for many men, women and children connected to the game.
"Our game has thousands of players, coaches and officials from grassroots through to the elite level and retired. Every now and then, members of our rugby league communities need our support and care when facing difficulties and tough times,” Mr Greenberg said.
“The Men of League Foundation is a wonderful example of the good in our game and I encourage every one of our fans to consider either joining the Foundation or supporting the efforts of local Men of League committees, to ensure that together, we continue to care for one another off the field.”
Recently appointed Men of League CEO Peter Collins said the Men of League Round was an important opportunity for the Foundation to profile its work and supporters within communities, as well as encouraging fans to get behind their local Men of League committees.
“Rugby league is blessed to have such generous fans who never give up on their team and never hesitate to lend a hand when those around them are doing it tough,” Mr Collins said.
“The Men of League Foundation is committed to ensuring that those who are a part of or have been a part of our game at any level are supported when they need it most.”
Members and fans can purchase merchandise and donate to the Foundation at menofleague.com.