Josh Addo-Carr's Race With Indigenous Boarding Home
NSW players visit flourishing foundation
NRL PHOTOS: Grant Trouville
NSW Blues and Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr spent some time away from his Origin I preparation, visiting an accomodation in Townsville in support for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students along with NSW teammates.
As the star player - nicknamed 'Fox' - was challenged by one of the students to a foot race, it brought back unneeded memories for Blues coach Brad Fittler.
“Josh Addo-Carr was asked to have a race, and I've just gone no - Tommy Turbo." Fittler said.
The Blues coach joked about not wanting another Tom Trbojevic moment days away from the series, after Trbojevic aggravated an injury competing in a late-night foot race earlier in the year down the Manly Corso.
The NSW Squad was in enemy territory ahead of Wednesday night's opener, as Addo-Carr and teammates visited the NRL's Cowboys house - a place for kids to receive an education, and break the prevalence of drugs and alcohol in their communities.
Despite the proximity to Origin I, Addo-Carr was delighted to share time with the students upon visiting the NRL community house, the 25-year-old came away full of joy.
Vision provided by the NRL showed kids having a race with the player Gus Gould whimsically named 'the fastest man on the planet', as teammate Latrell Mitchell played basketball, displaying his dunking skills.
Addo-Carr says the league should look to mirror what's been done in Townsville, and develop a club-affiliated program for Indigenous kids in NSW.
"They've got something special there - you can see how hard they're working and studying and that just feels like a family environment," Addo-Carr told AAP.
"They're all from remote communities around Queensland and I think we need something like that down in New South Wales because I know what it's like moving away from home and not being around your own people.
"Seeing the young Indigenous kids with all their smiles... I was probably more happy than them."
Joined by coach Brad Fittler and Jack Wighton, the students made the the Indigenous NRL stars feel right at home despite being on Queensland soil.
The foundation, backed by Queensland government and the league, provides accommodation and support for young Indigenous kids across the state.
It also provides students with accommodation, stability and support for those who have been moved away for better opportunities.
The home accommodates 55 young Indigenous men at the boys campus, with a girls campus housing 30 young women.
Mitchell was taken-aback by the love and energy the day brought to visiting players.
“This is why we play footy,” Mitchell told SMH.
“The reaction of the kids, we’re giving them hope. They’ve come down here for an opportunity and away from their communities where they can’t get that opportunity.
“It’s unbelievable how they’ve got this set-up. I’m blessed to see this myself. I’ve got goosebumps just being here. There’s a great energy.
“The government and Cowboys should be really proud of what they have done here. To see all the Queenslanders, I think we’ve turned a few of them into NSW fans for the night, which is a mad thing.”
Although a nervous Blues coach didn't want his star players to be challenged with a last-minute injury, there's no denying he's pleased to have the fastest man in the game on his side heading into the almighty first game.
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