Souths Juniors club, the Redfern All Blacks, this week had five grades, ranging from under 6’s to under 14’s, fitted out with individually moulded mouth guards in an attempt to raise awareness about the importance of oral care.
The initiative, supported by the University of Sydney’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, Souths Cares, the Centre for Oral Health Strategy and Colgate, saw around 60 Redfern All Blacks players fitted with the mouth guards at Alexandria Park.
Members of the Rabbitohs’ first grade squad were there to oversee proceedings while also rubbing shoulders with junior players.
Rabbitohs centre, Beau Champion attended, recognising the event as a great initiative.
“Mouth guards are an important part of playing contact sport, so it’s great that these organisations can come together and provide these mouth guards free to the local kids,” he said.
General Manager of Souths Cares, Shannon Donato, said the oral care message is an important one to get across in Rugby League, the indigenous and wider community.
“It’s an important message,” Mr Donato said.
“This is a great opportunity to get the oral care message across to kids by using rugby league as the vehicle.
“The partnership Souths Cares has with the Centre for Oral Health Strategy, the University of Sydney’s Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Colgate makes up what is a formidable team that will help better educate kids about the issue, as well as providing local rugby league players with a good quality mouth guard to protect their young teeth.”
Mr Donato also emphasised the important role the Poche Centre played in organising the initiative, with the group’s advocacy for the improvement of Indigenous health across the board.
“It’s such an important function they play, and this partnership we have is just one of the ways they make a difference,” Mr Donato said.
Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Director, Kylie Gwynne said the centre was delighted to support the initiative.
“Competitive sport brings with it several risks and we are glad to support this worthwhile initiative which will improve the safety of young players in the Redfern All Blacks,” she said.