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Posted by RLPA

June 11, 2024

RLPA takes on The Big Three Trek for The Mark Hughes Foundation

The Rugby League Players Association is proud to be taking part in The Big Three Trek in support of the Mark Hughes Foundation during Beanies for Brain Cancer Round. 

The RLPA’s Tom Symonds, Joe Galuvao, Keegan Hipgrave, and Jamie Buhrer as well as former NRL player Mitch Rein round out the players’ association’s contingent. They will take up the 150km walk from Moore Park in Sydney to McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.  
The Big Three Trek begins this Friday June 14th and ends on Sunday June 16th, and over 50 people will take part to help raise funds for The Mark Hughes Foundation.  

“The RLPA team is really looking forward to taking part in The Big Three Trek this weekend,” said Tom Symonds, the RLPA’s General Manager of Past Players and Transition

“We will be joining an inspiring group of trekkers, including many who have been personally impacted by brain cancer. 

“It’s an intimidating journey to be tackling over one weekend, but the heartbreaking stories of some our fellow trekkers will certainly fuel our efforts. 

“As part of launching our Past Player and Transition Program earlier this year, we committed to increasing our support of and connection with past players. Mark is one of those players. Despite incredible adversity, he has continued to succeed and inspire others in his post-rugby league career.  

“The RLPA is proud to support a truly great cause and the work of the Mark Hughes Foundation in the fight against brain cancer.” 

Mitch Rein will be on The Big Three Trek with the RLPA
Mitch Rein will be on The Big Three Trek with the RLPA

Former NRL player Mark Hughes, a brain cancer survivor and the founder of the Mark Hughes Foundation, thanked the RLPA for its support on The Big Three Trek. 

“The NRL Beanie for Brain Cancer Round brings out the best in everybody. It helps bring our game together as one,” said Mark Hughes. 

“I am constantly blown away by the support we receive during this period every year, and I love having the support of not just the current players but also the legends of the past as well.  

“This year we have many former players taking on The Big Three Trek from Sydney to Newcastle, including the crew from the RLPA. The RLPA do an awesome job in keeping our players of the past active and connected to rugby league. I am so grateful for all of the support.” 

Former NRL players Akuila Uate, Joseph Paulo and Billy Peden will also take part in The Big Three Trek.

The RLPA is encouraging people to help raise funds for the Mark Hughes Foundation: 
Click here to donate.


The Mark Hughes Foundation’s mission is to raise much needed funds for research, to create awareness and support brain cancer patients and their families. 

One person every 5 hours is diagnosed with Brain Cancer and Brain Cancer kills more children than any other disease. Brain Cancer does not discriminate. Brain Cancer can be a lonely journey for patients and their families. To date, MHF have funded four Brain Cancer Coordinators. These nurses are with patients every step of the way, delivering personalised nursing care tailored for each individual patient and their families. 

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