Melbourne Storm Origin forward Christian Welch is trying to lift the spirits of isolated older people by phoning to check on their welfare during the coronavirus pandemic – and he’s hoping to get other NRL players on board.
The likeable prop, who has his sights set on being an NRL club chief executive after his playing days are over, says he recognised that while many younger people could connect through social media, there are older members of the community who cannot.
Welch tweeted: “In these isolating times young people can still feel connected through social media but seniors are often without. I’m calling on all fans @storm or any other @NRL club, if you know a senior who would be cheered up receiving a call from a player get in touch #SupportASenior”
Welch got the idea after visiting his grandparents in their Brisbane nursing home.
He hoped that players from other codes would also get involved in their downtime from competition and training during the coronavirus shutdown.
One fan responded that his North Queensland fan father would be thrilled to get a call from Johnathan Thurston or another Cowboys player and Welch said he would try to make a call happen.
He also said he would reach out to Manly and Brisbane players to contact aging fans.
One wag suggested that Welch call his captain Cameron Smith, asking if the 36-year-old qualified as a senior.
Welch said he couldn’t answer that “if I want to get back into first grade this year”.