Students, principals, parents, Panthers players and a host of special guests were in attendance at the Panthers on the Prowl Graduation Night held last week at the Chairman’s Lounge of Centrebet Stadium.
The end of semester night of accomplishment was held by Panthers on the Prowl to acknowledge the achievements of both the students and principals who take part in the community development program.
Penrith Panthers Rugby League General Manger and board member of Panthers on the Prowl, Phil Gould, spoke very highly of the program on the night.
“I’ve been in this area through four different stages of my life as a child, as a footballer, as a coach and now coming back in this role that I currently have. One of the first functions I attended in this journey back to Penrith was a Panthers on the Prowl Graduation Night last year,” he said.
Mr Gould recalled his early memories of the beginnings of Panthers on the Prowl when he last moved on from the Panthers in the mid 90’s.
“It’s quite ironic because Panthers on the Prowl began after I left Penrith as coach in 1994,” he said.
“I can remember keeping my eye on Penrith and the way things were going on the football field and the way things were going at the club and I can remember at sometime reading about this Panthers on the Prowl initiative that started up with players getting out into the community.”
Mr Gould said he was “awestruck” when he found out just how much work is done throughout the community and how it changes the lives of students young and old.
“When I went to my first Graduation Night last year I watched and listened to the young recipients of the awards who came through the program,” he said.
“I also looked at the testimonials of people who had been through these programs many years ago and listened to what it had done to their lives and how important it was at a very needy time in their life to become involved. I must say I was awestruck at the potential and the dynamics of this program and this Panthers on the Prowl initiative that was started all those years ago.”
Close to 100 people were honoured with awards on the night from young students and adult students to the principals who utilise the programs in their schools.
Mr Gould hopes the initiative will continue to grow every year and continue to be an important part of the community.
“For me the Panthers on the Prowl initiative needs to be 10 times bigger than it is,” he said.