Blues charity ride comes to town

A convoy of NSW Rugby League legends on Harley-Davidsons will stop off at Kurri and Pokolbin this Saturday on the second leg of the inaugural Blues Hogs For Homeless ride.

The seven-day, 2500-kilometre journey will raise funds for Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets program.

The contingent including internationals Brad Fittler, Nathan Hindmarsh, Eric Grothe senior and Ian Schubert, will arrive at Kurri Sportsground around 6pm Saturday prior to the annual Charity Shield clash between the Kurri Bulldogs and the Cessnock Goannas.

A number of current Blues are also expected to attend and join in activities in and around the ground until the first grade kick off.

They will be selling raffle tickets for a brand new 883 Harley-Davidson Hog that will be drawn during half time of the Channel Nine broadcast of the season opener on March 7.

Fittler said the idea behind the ride was to show “NSW looking after each other”.

He said he was inspired to do the ride after chatting with Blues coach Laurie Daley at a recent Emerging Blues camp.

During a school visit, Daley had met a young player who despite living in NSW all his life had always supported Queensland.

“This road trip is to show we care. To help make it an easy decision when it comes to which state you support in State of Origin,” Fittler said.

“When I decided to do the ride I thought what better way to show it than raise money for Father Chris Riley’s charity Youth off the Streets.”

To raise awareness of the situation that thousands of young people in NSW face every night, the riders will be sleeping under the stars along the way.

They will spend this Saturday night in swags at Harrigan’s Irish Pub, Pokolbin, where they will also meet and greet with fans.

Eric Grothe senior and junior will provide the music for the evening and there will be donations buckets on the bars.

The Hogs For Homeless ride will head off to Tamworth on Sunday and will travel to Ballina and the Gold Coast, back down to South West Rocks and will finish up at Sydney next Thursday with a lap of honour prior to the NRL season opener between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium.

Fittler said he hopes the ride will become an annual event that will be held in the week leading up to the NRL season.

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