The Lithgow Bears Rugby League Football Club got a nice surprise when two NRL legends stopped by on Tuesday, October 13 to congratulate them on their recent awards.
Last week the Bears won the National and NSW grassroots club of the year award.
Nathan Hindmarsh, the ambassador for NRL awards was originally suppose to attend the presentation but was unable to make it, so he made sure to stop by on Tuesday to congratulate the club.
He also rode into town with NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler.
"Both guys wanted to congratulate the Bears on their achievements and commitment to the Lithgow community," a Bears representative said.
The event was held at the Lithgow Workies Club and was a laid back event with Hindmarsh and Fittler chatting, signing autographs and tkaing photos with keen footy fans.
"It was an open invite from the Bears for any community members to come along too," the representative said.
"They [Hindmarsh and Fittler] asked questions about Lithgow and about how the footy teams went this year."
Participants also got to ask some questions to Fittler before he goes into the NSW camp for a month before Origin time.
"The guys also gave the bears a box of NSW footballs that we then gave to the kids that came to get signatures and photos," the representative said.
According to the representative the Club still can't believe they won the awards.
"I know I'm still in shock, it means so much to the club and the Lithgow community to have the NRL and especially amazing footballers to personally come and congratulate the bears," they said.
"From the bushfires to COVID-19 the Lithgow community has been hit hard and the Bears club will try and do what they can to try and lift the spirits of the township or bring tourism back to help our local businesses.
"We hope that these awards have done that."
It seems that Hindmarsh is keen to come back to Lithgow.
"After the Bears organised the football clinic last week for the juniors, Nathan advised that he'll come back early next year for another clinic," they said.
The representative said that it was a natural thing for the Bears to help the Lithgow community.
"Whether it's fundraising for mental illness and suicide prevention or dropping water off at the local RFS brigades or inviting the disability support groups to come down and join in a game of footy," they said.
"We are one of the smallest sporting clubs in Lithgow however we are a small community and we try and give back were we can."
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