Published: Jul 28, 2017

Thunder host rugby league clinic to help save lives on country roads

Raising awareness of the ‘knock-on effect’ of road trauma will be one of the key aims of a NSW Rugby League clinic in Albury next week.

Organised in memory of Darcy Young, the young Albury local who sadly lost his life in a car crash earlier this year, the clinic and dinner will be hosted by road safety ambassador and rugby league legend Brad Fittler alongside a number of other rugby league stars and Darcy’s family.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey has congratulated the Thunder Rugby League club for hosting the dinner and clinic, saying the statistics related to road deaths and serious injuries on country roads are appalling.

“Someone is killed or seriously injured in a crash on NSW roads every 42 minutes – about the same time it takes to play half a game of elite Rugby League.”

Member for Albury Greg Aplin has also welcomed the arrival of the NSW Rugby League stars to raise awareness of the knock-on effect of road trauma.

“The dinner and clinic are particularly timely given the recent increase in road related deaths in regional areas of the state.”

NSW Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon said the Knock-On Effect campaign was designed to highlight the fact that country road users were now almost five times more likely to be killed on our roads than those in our big cities.

“This visit by our road safety ambassadors to Albury comes at a time when communities in the South and South-West of NSW have already lost 65 people this year to road crashes, up from 40 in the same period last year,” said Mr Carlon.

“I hope the visit will reinforce the need for people to take more care on our roads in order to protect themselves, their families and other members of the community.”

Albury Thunder RLFC president Rick O’Connell said country towns were tight knit places where the impacts of a crash that killed or seriously injured people had devastating impacts on the entire community.

“Darcy and his family have been involved in our football club for many years, and the devastation caused by Darcy’s death has deeply affected all of the families in our club and the broader town,” Mr O’Connell said.

“We are honoured to partner with Transport for NSW and NSW Rugby League to host this special clinic and dinner to raise awareness of the Knock-On Effect of road trauma.”

Rugby League legend Brad Fittler said at the heart of every country community was a passion for sport and sporting clubs could play an important role in supporting communities affected by road trauma by promoting positive messages around road safety.

“We can rally together as footy clubs and communities by looking out for each other on the field and on the roads, that’s the real purpose of our visit next week,” said Mr Fittler.

“We’re looking forward to putting the local players through their paces and just enjoying the time together at dinner.”

Special tribute matches in honour of Darcy Young will take place at Greenfield Park in Albury next Sunday 6th August.

For more information about the NSW Government’s Knock-On Effect campaign and its road safety partnership with NSW Rugby League visit: www.knockoneffect.com.au