Gold Coast SUNS vice-captain Sam Collins has put his off-season break to good use, spending time on Thursday speaking to students from The Southport School as a RizeUp ambassador.

Collins was invited to speak on behalf of RizeUp at a TSS school assembly, to talk to his connection to the Gold Coast charity and why it is so important for young men to be educated on the social issue of domestic and family violence.

“Work like this starts in schools like TSS and it’s all about educating the next generation coming through while also helping to solve the issue that is currently present,” Collins said.

“(Family and domestic violence) is a really big issue in society and one that is completely unacceptable. It’s one that I am really proud to stand up here and talk about in partnership with RizeUp to highlight the great work they do to help this issue.

“These students are going to be the foundation of the community moving forward and hopefully they can be really great role models for other men.”

RizeUp has this month kicked off its annual Christmas Appeal, with the goal of collecting 25,000 gifts for children who have been affected by family and domestic violence to have a present to open on Christmas Day.

Collins said it was a worthy cause anyone could get behind.

“The Gold Coast SUNS have been involved in the RizeUp Christmas Appeal for eight years now and the bins have just been delivered to the club today,” he said.

“The Austworld Centre is a delivery centre if you would like to make a donation.

“It’s a really meaningful way to give to people who are disadvantaged and maybe wouldn’t have anything to open on Christmas Day.”

RizeUp are encouraging the community to consider donating gifts such as toys (no weapon-inspired toys), arts & crafts, games, sports gear and more.

With just a few weeks remaining until the beginning of pre-season, Collins said he would be throwing his support behind the SUNS women’s team in his remaining break, who remain in contention for a place in the AFLW Finals Series.

“For our AFLW team to be in contention to be playing finals is a massive achievement for the club,” Collins said.

“Hopefully they have a really good win this week and we can watch them play in a final on the home deck at Heritage Bank Stadium shortly.”