Panthers visit to State Parliament
Friday 16 November 2012 2:36 PM
The Penrith Panthers were lucky to be invited to State Parliament on Thursday for a panel discussion on leadership and community engagement.
In what's believed to be a first for a full NRL playing squad, the Panthers players and coach Ivan Cleary joined Penrith MP Stuart Ayres, Newcastle MP Tim Owen and Charlestown MP Andrew Cornwell in a Leadership session facilitated by Sky Sports Radio personality Jimmy Smith.
"We covered a lot of issues with the players. Including issues like being a community leader, engaging with the media and discussed some fundamental approaches to leadership that players can use both on and off the field." said Mr Ayres
"The modern football player is not just a football player anymore. The community expects them to be role models, brand ambassadors for clubs and sponsors, media personalities and they have to be very effective time mangers. Today was about giving the players some ideas and strategies to deal with modern challenges" said Mr Ayres
"Stuart Ayres and his colleagues Andrew Cornwell and Tim Owen provided our team with a unique insight of their views on leadership and improving individual and team performance. I'm sure the players will benefit from the experience, I know I have". said coach Cleary.
"I've never done anything like this in my career before. It was such a great idea and we get to finish the day with a whole lot of new ideas on how we can be better footballers, better community leaders and better people." Panthers captain Kevin Kingston said.
Rugby league clubs like Penrith Panthers are so important to communities across western Sydney and the today's leadership discussion will help the club continue their every improving community engagement and perhaps even lead to plenty of wins on the field.
The Panthers then went to on to visit the Heroes and Legends Museum at Rugby League Central, where former Panthers great and Museum Manager Frank Puletua showed them around the amazing collection of historical items. From test caps dating back to 1910 and interactive newspaper article from days gone by, to the TV ads we all know and love, and the Telstra Premiership trophy, the players were thrilled by what they saw. They were also proud to see videos from the two glorious premierships the Panthers have won, jerseys from 1968, 88 and 2008, and stacks of photos and memorabilia.
It was a great day out for the side, and the players look forward to putting the leadership advice they were given into practice on and off the field in 2013.