Souths duo leave lasting impression at Acmena

AS Chris Sandow and Jaiman Lowe walked through the doors of the Acmena Juvenile Justice Centre in Grafton dressed in their green and red jerseys, a buzz of excitement filled the air.

The South Sydney rugby league stars visited the centre as a part of the Souths Cares program, started in 2006 by the club's then owners, Peter Holmes À Court and Russell Crowe.

Acmena general manager Glen Sullivan had only positive things to say about the visit.

“They spent over two hours up here, just sitting around with the kids and talking to them all. They really seemed to care,” Sullivan said.

“Chris and Jaiman were really great. They spoke about dedication and the pressures of being a role model, which really meant a lot because these kids don't gave too many positive role models.”

However, the visit was not just confined to conversation.

A game of touch footy was played, with Sandow and Lowe going up against the kids.

“The Rabbitohs won ... just,” Sullivan said with a laugh.

“The boys were really grateful to be able to talk to the Rabbitohs. They were really inspirational.

“One boy stood up at the end and said 'On behalf of all the kids here, your visit has changed our lives and I have realised what I want and that is a life without crime',” Sullivan said.

Sandow enjoyed the experience almost as much as the kids.

“It was amazing to put a smile on their faces,” he said.

Sandow said he felt a connection with the Acmena boys, as he too had run into trouble in his youth.

“As a kid I hung around with the wrong crowd,” he said.

“There was a lot of theft, drugs and alcohol when I was growing up, but I grew out of it and I decided that that life was not for me.

“Being in there is a big learning curve for a lot of them, and I'm glad to have been apart of that.”



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