Former league stars Greg Cox, Mick Ryan and Peter Ryan at Coolangatta ahead of the Men of League Bowls Day at Coolangatta Bowls Club on Sunday, October 29
Former league stars Greg Cox, Mick Ryan and Peter Ryan at Coolangatta ahead of the Men of League Bowls Day at Coolangatta Bowls Club on Sunday, October 29 Melissa Belanic

Ex-sport stars call for crucial support on the greens

THREE of Australia's top lawn bowlers are primed to join ex-rugby league stars on the Coolangatta Bowls Club greens for the Tweed District Men of League (MOL) bowls day on Sunday.

Kelvin Kerkow, Ian Schuback and Nathan Rice are expected to roll a few down with the likes of former NRL stars Greg Cox, and Mick and Peter Ryan, to provide crucial support for the MOL major fundraising day.

Cox, the bowls day organiser and a former Balmain, Cronulla and Western Suburbs star, saie he hoped the greens would be filled on the day, with entry open to the public.

"It's always a great get together, and it's good to have a day where everyone can have some fun in an enjoyable environment,” he said.

A veteran of 269 NRL games, Cox knows the crucial role MOL plays in the lives of ex-players, officials, their families and those associated with the game of rugby league. He was helped through a Men Of League fundraiser in 2012 when he was forced to undergo expensive ankle surgery.

Cox said the bowls day would provide a comfortable environment for those who were struggling.

"It gets people to talk. A lot of men can't do that out of a certain circle, so this gives them a familiar grounding, knowing these guys have been through similar and may have some answers,” he said.

Peter Ryan said modern players faced a lot of scrutiny, and would benefit from the environment MOL provides.

MOL hopes to engage a younger generation of ex-players and their families, which Cox said was crucial for the organisation's future.

"Let's face it, in 15-20 years time we won't be around and we want it to continue. There's a lot of good stuff happening and a lot of people would miss MOL. That's why we have these days and open it up for everyone,” Cox said.

"You don't have to be an old retired footballer. The more people that realise that and come to these functions will give us more funds to be able to help people and roll on,” he said.

Tickets are $30, which includes green fees, four drinks, lunch, raffle tickets and prizes. Names are to be in by 9am (Qld), with play staring at 9.30am.



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