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Raiders raid the Riverina
The Canberra Raiders have had a huge first day of their 2012 Community Carnival, visiting over 3500 students across Gundagai, Tumut, Batlow, Tumbarumba and Temora.
The Green Machine split into four groups to spread themselves out across the region and took part in activities including swimming carnivals, lunchtime cricket games, while promoting the message of Eat Well, Play Well Stay Well and Dream, Believe, Achieve.
In Gundagai, the awesome foursome of Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Paul Vaughan, Mark Nicholls and Joe Picker competed in the 4 x 50m relay at the Gundagai High School swimming carnival, while Coach David Furner and the players joined the kids in some lunchtime cricket at St Pats Primary School.
Blake Ferguson, Josh Dugan and Terry Campese stopped in at the big apple on their way to Batlow Tech School and St Mary's in Batlow, while Brett White, Sam Williams and Trevor Thurling spent the day in the Tumut Valley shire visiting local schools.
Temora native Josh McCrone took a troop of Raiders to visit his old home town, while a small group of Raiders made the trek to the mountain region of Tumbarumba to see the schools in the area.
Raiders star Tom Learoyd-Lahrs said the players loved spending time in the regional centres and said it was great to be involved with the schools on the day.
:I must admit I was pretty nervous as I stood on the blocks for the relay at the Gundagai High Swimming Carnival," Learoyd-Lahrs said. "When Paul Vaughan almost cost us the lead with a lap to go I thought we were done but luckily Joey Picker brought it home for us."
Raiders Coach David Furner said the Raiders pride themselves on being the country club and said the children in the area would hopefully get behind the team.
"We've had a lot of players come from this region and still do with Glen Buttriss (Cootamundra) and Josh McCrone (Temora) from where we are over the next few days," Furner said.
"We still have a lot of players in our junior programs coming through from this area so it's great to get out and visit these towns which wouldn't usually get visits from NRL clubs."
The Raiders will spend day two of their community carnival adventure in Cootamundra and Junee, before heading to Albury tomorrow afternoon to prepare for their first trial match against the Melbourne Storm on Saturday night.