THE Newcastle Knights went back to school in Tamworth yesterday and even entered shark territory at the city pool.
It wasn’t Cronulla Shark territory though – they were at the home of the Tamworth City Sharks Swimming Club for the St Edward’s Primary School swimming carnival.
The sharks of the Cronulla variety were further afield at Barraba and Manilla.
The first group of Sharks to land in the region sunk their teeth into bullying at Barraba Central School, St Joseph’s Barraba, St Michael’s Manilla and Manilla Central School as part of the NRL One Community Carnival.
Todd Carney and Ben Pomeroy were among the players who delivered the anti-bullying message to the local kids and then took to the Chaffey Park fields at Manilla for a few drills and a game of touch footy with Manilla Tigers juniors.
It was the first registration day of the year for the Tigers and they were delighted to have the Sharks on board.
“It’s terrific,” Manilla JRLFC president Patrick Purtle said.
“It creates interest in playing rugby league. Even though most people don’t think about it until the games start, this gives it some focus.”
Twenty-five Knights players, meanwhile, spread out across Tamworth.
Aku Uate was one of three players to stop at Ronald McDonald House to lend support to the children’s charity.
“They’re already going through such a tough time so it was amazing to be able to put a smile on their faces, even for a little while,” he said.
The rest of the Knights split up and visited 10 primary schools around the city.
Kurt Gidley, Willie Mason, Kade Snowden and Darius Boyd were among those who spoke to kids about the NRL’s tackling bullying campaign.
Mason then led a contingent to the city pool to encourage kids from St Ed’s ahead of their swimming carnival.
Today the Knights train at Scully Park from 9am before running a clinic with students from Tamworth high schools.