Penrith Panthers join Television Sydney for new documentary

A new documentary following seven teenage boys from Western Sydney as they trek the infamous Kokoda Trail with stars from the Panthers NRL team will premiere on Television Sydney this month.

Narrated by Panthers legend Phil Gould, the hour-long documentary Kokoda: In the Footsteps of the Brave follows the boys as they trek alongside Panthers coach Ivan Cleary, prop Tim Grant and new signing Jamie Soward over six gruelling days.

The documentary has been produced by Television Sydney (opens in a new window) (TVS) and will be broadcast on free to air digital 44 on February 22.

TVS broadcasts from the University of Western Sydney’s Werrington Campus and is a controlled entity of UWS.

Led by Vietnam Veteran and NSW Upper House MP Charlie Lynn, the trek was the brainchild of former Panthers forward Brad Waugh who now heads up Panthers on the Prowl (opens in a new window).

The group completed what is normally a 10-day trek in just six days, sometimes trekking for up to 16 hours a day through the humid, mountainous jungle to get to camp.

“The seven boys were chosen from local schools following a competitive application process,” says Mr Waugh.

“The boys were not only seasoned athletes and school captains, but those who had really started to turn their school lives around after a rough start.”

But the trek was not without its drama; the documentary shows the highs and lows of a week spent coping in trying conditions, trudging through mud, and one trekker being evacuated after becoming gravely ill.

“The boys learned many things along the way, but mostly how to cope with a range of difficult situations, and how to help others as a team,” Waugh explained.

Television Sydney Chief Executive and UWS Director of Engagement Rachel Bentley says the partnership has resulted in very positive outcomes for both organisations.

“TVS is very pleased to be presenting this documentary in conjunction with its community partner and fellow not-for-profit organisation, Panthers on the Prowl,” says Ms Bentley.

“The enthusiasm and attendance at the launch shows local content such as this documentary is appreciated by local audiences, and the feedback from local School Principals has been very positive."

Kokoda: In the Footsteps of the Brave will screen on TVS, free to air channel 44, on Saturday, February 22 at 6.30pm. It will repeat at midnight and midday on February 24, and 5pm on February 27.

Television Sydney (TVS) is a not-for-profit, free-to-air community station, the only community television licence holder in Sydney.

TVS broadcasts from the University of Western Sydney’s Werrington Campus and is a controlled entity of UWS.


17 February 2014

Contact: Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer

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