WITH West Tigers fever running high in the Southern Highlands over the weekend, players visited schools in the area on Monday to promote the message of anti-bullying.
Players split into groups to cover as much ground as possible from Moss Vale out to Colo Vale and Hill Top.
Students were excited to say the least at being able to meet their NRL stars and the players were just as happy to give their time for a good cause.
“There’s a lot of important messages these days, anti-bullying is definitely one of them and healthy living and making sure you respect others and each individual,” new Tiger Braith Anasta said.
“It’s just a given for us and we’re blessed to be doing what we’re doing and to be able to try and help these young kids in any way that we can is a great thing for us.”
Senior Tigers player Lote Tiquiri said it was important that children knew bullying would not be tolerated and that people were there to help.
“It’s a very important message. I think kids suffer in silence with bullying. If you need a voice you should speak out and if we can help in any way I think that’s great,” he said. “I hope to meet a few kids and hopefully inspire or encourage kids to speak out about bullying.”
The Tigers have also had a busy pre-season under new coach Mick Potter and Tiquiri said while it was a bit of a shake up, things were going well.
“He’s certainly a lot different from Tim Sheens in the way he approaches things but we’re working really hard and we just can’t wait for the season to start. The boys are pretty fit and we’re ready to go.”
With a few players coming back from niggling injuries, Tiquiri said they were a long way from thinking about winning the premiership, but they would be working hard towards that goal.
“I think we want to get through the first part of the season first and the main thing is that everyone is healthy as well. We’ve got to be smart about what we do off the field as well.”
For Anasta, it has been a big change moving from the Roosters, but the new recruit said it had been a smooth transition.
“Mick coming in, he’s been fantastic. Very tough and stern and he’s building a culture at the club and I think it’s all been positive since he’s been here,” he said.
“I can’t fault the place since I’ve been at the club and I’m excited about the year ahead. “
The Tigers held a skills clinic at Mittagong Sportsground on Sunday afternoon, which also proved popular.
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. I think it’s probably a good time for me at this time of my career. Just to have responsibility myself and if I can concentrate on my own game a bit more in the back row.”
Tigers fans got to meet their favourite players. Photo by Roy Truscott
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