To these kids, he's much more than an Origin star
Jun
3
2016

RUGBY LEAGUE: To these youngsters, Matt Gillett’s much more than a State of Origin star.

The 27-year-old from the Sunshine Coast is a friend and mentor to the children within the Falcons Footy - Rugby League for Children of Different Abilities program.

“The kids love him. He’s great with them and he’s formed a really strong bond with a lot of them,” Falcons CEO and program founder Chris Flannery said.

The burly Queensland and Broncos backrower brought attention to the group on Wednesday night, when he donated his man-of-the-match winnings to the initiative.

The program provides opportunities for girls and boys who live with challenges such as autism and aspergers.

They play footy at Sunshine Coast Stadium before Sunshine Coast Falcons’ home games. Gillett is often there.

“We asked him to come on board and he said ‘yes’ straight away,” Flannery said.

“He comes up and runs drills, he’s presented kids with shirts and medals and last year he got them all tickets and took them down to the Broncos versus Tigers match (at Brisbane).”

Gillett is also an ambassador for RSPCA Queensland and last week he and Flannery did a talk at Kawana High about domestic violence.

“He’s involved in a lot of community initiatives,” Flannery said. “He’s very proactive off the field and a great ambassador for the game.”

As a result of his efforts, he was last year nominated for the Ken Stephens Medal at rugby league’s Dally M awards.

The Falcons Footy program, which is supported by Maroochy RSL and co-ordinated by Nadine Krivkov, has been recognised by Autism Spectrum Australia with the above and beyond award.

“We’ve been running it for a couple of years now and we’ve got 50 kids enrolled,” Flannery said.

“Most of them have some form of autism but there is a lot of other kids with other disabilities in the program.”

“A lot of these kids can’t participate in mainstream rugby league or mainstream sports. They probably just don’t have the attention span to be involved in those games so it’s great for them to be able to play rugby league here in a safe, controlled environment.”

Coaster and ex-Maroons rake Kerrod Walters is also an ambassador.

By Steele Taylor of Sunshine Coast Daily

Click here for the original article.

Upcoming Events
12
08
2018
World record-holder, The Big Wedgie will be bringing their family-friendly waterslide event to the Sunshine Coast for the first time, kicking off on 8th December and running until 28 January!

The Big Wedgie currently holds the world record for the tallest freestanding inflatable waterslide, with the accolade awarded in 2015. Standing at a whopping 18.2 meters tall and 82 meters long, The Big Wedgie treats thrill-seekers to an extreme a 55 degree drop!
01
25
2019
2019 QLD OZTag Junior State Cup is going to be held right here on the Sunshine Coast.
12
08
2018
World record-holder, The Big Wedgie will be bringing their family-friendly waterslide event to the Sunshine Coast for the first time, kicking off on 8th December and running until 28 January!

The Big Wedgie currently holds the world record for the tallest freestanding inflatable waterslide, with the accolade awarded in 2015. Standing at a whopping 18.2 meters tall and 82 meters long, The Big Wedgie treats thrill-seekers to an extreme a 55 degree drop!
01
25
2019
2019 QLD OZTag Junior State Cup is going to be held right here on the Sunshine Coast.
02
23
2019
An all-Queensland NRL pre-season match between North Queensland Toyota Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans is happening at Sunshine Coast Stadium!
03
15
2019
2019 QLD OZTag Senior State Cup is going to be held right here on the Sunshine Coast!
04
13
2019
In a Round 5 clash the South Sydney Rabbitohs will play the New Zealand Warriors at Sunshine Coast Stadium!
05
18
2019
Relay For Life is a fun and moving overnight experience that raises vital funds for the Cancer Council’s research, prevention, information and support services. Relay is a chance for the Sunshine Coast community to recognise and celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and their carers, to honour and remember loved ones lost to cancer and to raise money to help save more lives.
06
15
2019
Bringing the best players from across Queensland to compete across two massive days, get ready to catch the 2019 Tri Series at Sunshine Coast Stadium! With QLD Country and QLD City merit teams chosen from this event in each age group, it's going to be an epic Tri Series!
See all Events

Have your next event at Sunshine Coast Stadium

Make a Booking
What's On

Become a Volunteer

Find out more

Like us on Facebook

Find out more

Follow us on Twitter

Find out more

Follow us on Instagram

Find out more
Latest News
Oct
8
2018

Sheppard to feature in the Under the Southern Stars festival

Under the Southern Stars summer festival will deliver music lovers the ulti..
read more
May
21
2018

Sunshine Coast Fire 2018 July School Holiday Camp

Sunshine Coast FC’s July Holiday Camp will be held from Mond..
read more
See all News