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Cornwall Park District School had a treat when the Sipley brothers Patrick and Toafofoa helped Vodafone Warriors community ambassador Georgia Hale present an ACC SportSmart assembly.

The ACC SportSmart programme is focused around sport performance and injury prevention among athletes so they can maintain and improve their performance.

It also educates athletes using the four Es of injury prevention as their foundation – education, enforcement (laws and rules of the game), engineering (player equipment) and environment (physical behaviour).

At the Vodafone Warriors, the ACC SportSmart programme presentation has been modified to educate on ways to maintain wellbeing while showing kids how important preparation is for a rugby league player.

“The ACC SportSmart programme gives kids a little insight into what us professional athletes do to play the game for example, food choices and exercise,” said Pat.

The morning assembly included an introduction to rugby league, a Vodafone Warriors trivia quiz with prizes for correct answers and an emphasis on the importance of wellbeing such as sleep, hydration and belonging.

Although the morning was focused on educating the kids, it was also a time for the Sipley brothers to spend more time together at work.

“Working with your brother at a ACC SportSmart assembly like this makes it more fun and competitive for us both [in a good way],” said Patrick.

“We are comfortable and bring out the best in each other on and off the field”.

Said Toafofoa: “I am blessed to be able to be in a position like this with my older brother pursuing a dream we’ve chased since we could walk.”

While visiting Cornwall Park District school, the brothers reflected on a own primary school memory of their own.

“When we would walk home we would always cross a walking bridge that went across the motorway,” said Patrick.

“So every time we walked across we would pretend we were down on the motorway dodging cars to get to the other side safely.”

Toafofoa reflected on how they always raced to be the first one home after school and continued to do the same at high school.

The ACC SportSmart assembly ended with players signing autographs and accommodating photo opportunities. 

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The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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