Since 2013, NRL legend Brad Fittler has spent hundreds of hours on his motorcycle, traversing the state to promote good causes.
Today, his travels brought him to Goulburn.
Fittler has spent the last week on the road with Gus Worland, founder of Gotcha4Life, an organisation which aims to lower the rate of suicide in Australia.
The pair today visited Mulwaree High School, in order to talk to the children about what Gotcha4Life calls 'mental fitness'.
"The numbers of suicide and loneliness are getting out of hand," Fittler said.
"The theory of Gotcha4Life is the question: 'Have you got one person that you can talk to on a deeper level than banter?'"
Fittler and Worland challenged the students to think about who they could talk to on an emotional level, and intend to follow up on that question in the coming weeks.
"It went great," Fittler said.
"We'll get back in touch with them in a couple of weeks and challenge them to do a few things, and we'll leave it in their hands to do what they feel is appropriate."
Gotcha4Life's strategy to combat poor mental health is based on "Prevention through Connection", according to its website, which involves "rais[ing] awareness of the importance of identifying a close friend in your life, someone you can speak openly and honestly to when times are tough.
"We champion the idea of mental fitness, building the social and emotional muscle and the resilience required to deal better with the challenges that life throws at us."
To that end, Fittler and Worland, with a group of fellow riders, have travelled over 2,000km north in the past week. Today was the first day of the southward leg of the fortnight-long ride.
Over the coming days, the group will travel through Batemans Bay, Cooma, Albury, and Orange, before returning to Sydney. In total, they plan to visit 13 schools and conduct six football clinics, all while promoting the importance of connection to the kids.
Fittler is a founding member of the "Hogs for the Homeless" charity ride, which began in 2013 and raised nearly $800,000 for Father Chris Riley's Youth Off The Streets program.
The Hogs tour, which took place every year until 2019/20 due to the bushfires and COVID-19, is one of the primary programs of the NSWRL Foundation, which aims to promote community health and wellbeing through rugby league.
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