Peachey backs indigenous carnival
RUGBY LEAGUE: He has enthralled spectators when he played with the mighty Cronulla Sharks and now the NRL star plans to bring a bit of that action to Browne Park today.
David Peachey has had his time as a top NRL star but when he arrived in Rockhampton yesterday he was supporting a different cause.
The former New South Wales and Australian full back is again this year’s ambassador of the Central Queensland Indigenous Development (CQID) Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival, which kicks off today.
“It’s good to be back in Rockhampton and to be the ambassador again,” Peachey said yesterday.
“Last year I had a great time and caught up with my old team-mates and friends like Aaron Summers, Wayne Bennett and Scott Minto.”
The 35-year-old will hit the Browne Park field with the CQ Warriors, who took out the Plate last year, by his side again.
But his team will have to be wary of the fury of the defending champions, Cherbourg, who swept up the Cup in 2009.
Peachey said the carnival brought a lot more to the table than just a couple of games of footy, with this year’s carnival directly targeting fuel sniffing.
“It’s good to bring this aspect of awareness and use football in that way and use it as a hook,” he said
Peachey said he was fortunate to be able to use his profile and the profile of the sport to lift the awareness of indigenous people and their health issues.
“I also want to use the opportunity to give the local players tips that will help them with their footy career if that’s what they want to do – also for the older guys because it doesn’t matter if you are 27 you still can make it.”
Peachey, who has been a part of the carnival for two years, also has is own foundation, the David Peachey Foundation, which helps provide education health and sports programs in regional and remote indigenous communities.
“The program I have is mainly around education, we have a couple of futsal representatives at the moment,” he said.
Carnival director Walson Carlos said Peachey fitted right in with the Rockhampton carnival.
“He has his own foundation so obviously assisting in indigenous communities fits right in with what we are trying to achieve, which makes him a great ambassador and a decent bloke.”
“I think having someone like Peachy lifts them and the profile of our carnival. He talks to the juniors and they listen to him because he has achieved so much and hopefully they take away what he has to say.”
The carnival, which started in 2008, began with just seven teams and has since built to 16 open men’s teams, two open women’s and six junior exhibition matches.
“The games are very competitive because footy is fairly huge and the teams take it very seriously,” Carlos said.
“Once they cross that line on the field they go out very hard and strong.”
The Indigenous Reconciliation Carnival will kick off this morning and wrap up on Monday with the finals.