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Raiders give to the bush

Tina Sharpley, Bruce Delaney, Carrie Hull and Jan Griffiths with Mason and Bruce Morris (at front) proud to be sporting Canberra Raiders merchandise. Inset Ian Martin hopes to put smiles on the faces of the people of Bourke with the Canberra Raiders gear. PHOTO TWH/Inset supplied

With the rugby league season ending abruptly due to COVID, the Canberra Raiders have generously donated their remaining 2021 season merchandise to the Bourke community, in an endeavor to remind those in the bush, that they are not alone.

Through the efforts of ex-Bourkeite Ian Martin, whose father Keith has the Davidson Oval grandstand honors of the ‘Keith Martin Stand’, the splash of lime green, blue and white is about to be seen around town.

Keith Martin is remembered as one of Bourke’s best rugby league representatives, and as and excellent rugby league referee.

Ian doesn’t consider himself an ex-Bourkeite at all. He says he is a true Bourke boy. Bourke is his first home and, in his heart forever. He just resides in Canberra.

Previous Manager of the Raiders Under 16 and Under 18 Development Squads, Ian has been heavily involved with the Raiders management, staff, and players.

“I initially got involved with the Raiders through a good friend Dean Souter, Pathways and Performance Manager, and how this all came about, is through Don Furner who is the CEO of the Raiders.

“Don actually has a close connection to Bourke through John Gordon, who he went to university with.

“I approached Don at the end of the season and said if you’ve got any gear left over at the end of the year, my hometown Bourke is doing it pretty tough with COVID, and this would put a smile on a lot of people’s faces.

“Well, Don got back to me within the month and provided a whole swag of brand-new merchandise, still in the plastic bags, unopened and ready to distribute throughout the community.

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