Sunshine Coast a breath of fresh air for Canberra NRL stars

Despite sweating out a torrid training session at Sunshine Coast Stadium today, the Canberra Raiders are now breathing much easier.

The 2019 Grand Finalists relocated to the Sunshine Coast this week to escape air quality conditions brought on by bushfire smoke in the nation’s capital.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart said the club was extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue preparations for the 2020 NRL season on the Sunshine Coast for the next 10 days.

“It was very late notice last Sunday when we started to plan being up here because of the air quality in Canberra and just having the connections and friends here on the Sunshine Coast made it so much easier so we really appreciate the generosity and also the hospitality that we’re receiving,” Stuart said.  

“We look forward to an open day here on Friday for not just Raiders fans but Rugby league fans.”

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the region welcomed the Raiders with open arms.

“The Sunshine Coast is very pleased to lend a hand to the Canberra club in their time of need and to provide coach Ricky Stuart and his squad with a healthier environment to continue their pre-season training,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“I’d like to thank our terrific team at Sunshine Coast Stadium for being able to accommodate the Canberra club for this 10-day training camp at such short notice.

“While it’s wonderful that we can help the Raiders out, this is also a reminder that there are thousands of people across Australia who are suffering from the impacts of horrendous bushfires in Queensland last year and more recently in New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.”

The Raiders will hold an open training session on Friday January 17 from 10am to noon, with players available post-training for autographs and to meet fans.