In the lead up to the annual Voice for Mining Family Day match on Saturday, the Newcastle Knights took a trip out to Singleton, a town in the Hunter Valley's heartland on Tuesday.
Hundreds of school children and members of the public converged on Pirtek Park to meet and have their photos taken with the players as well as pick up some skills in the football clinic activities.
Coach Rick Stone was thrilled to have the opportunity to take the entire team out to one of it’s strongest supporter catchments.
“They got a chance to get close to some of their heroes which is great. I think everyone had a good time and came away pretty happy," Stone said.
Excitement is building for the annual Voice for Mining match when the Knights will show their support for mining families by wearing their specially designed, hi-viz jersey.
“The mining industry around Newcastle is a massive influence in our economy and the way we live and employment as well,” he said.
“It has a great affiliation with the history of rugby league."
Stone reflected on the rich rugby league history of the area when Welsh coal miners showed their affinity for rugby league when they entered a team in the first NSW rugby league competition in 1908.
“Even though they only stayed there one or two years, they were keen on their rugby league back then,” he said.
“The comparison between mining and rugby league is the blue-collar ethics that go with it and go hand in hand.
“The Novocastrians are really proud of themselves and the mining industry up here. It’s a big influence on what goes on day-to-day and most people know someone who’s involved or has some connection with the mining industry.”
Stone encouraged Members, supporters and families involved in the mining industry to come to the game at Hunter Stadium and get behind the Knights.
“Last year was a great opportunity for the miners to come out and support a cause, their team and to be proud of the industry too.”
Saturday March 28 – All 3 grades at Hunter Stadium
Newcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers
Gates open: 10.30am
NSW Cup: 12.40pm
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Tickets: CLICK HERE
Hi-viz jersey: CLICK HERE