Roycey’s big walk almost complete

When Penrith Panthers’ rugby league legend Royce Simmons disclosed in January 2022 that, at age 61, he had been diagnosed with dementia the previous year, many were in shock.

Typically, the former Kangaroos hooker immediately set about not only exploring what he required to do to slow the dreaded condition’s progress, his thoughts turned to assisting others who were affected by the disease – not just sufferers but their supporting families too.

Within months, Royce’s Big Walk (a registered charity foundation)  was a reality and the support he has received by not just many VIPs of rugby league, but the Penrith district’s community and beyond has been extraordinary.

The 2022 walk was a huge success so he’s back up and running again for Royce’s Big Walk for 2023.

So, among other fund-raising initiatives for Royce’s designated not-for-profit support organisation, Dementia Australia, Royce has been walking from 18th April to 29th April 2023 – 313km from Dubbo to Bathurst.

Along the way there has been several sportsman’s dinners or lunches, and a coaching clinic, to help raise funds for local rugby league on the route.

You can support Royce’s mission, Dementia Australia, junior rugby league and, in particular, the families who have or will go through what Royce himself is confronting, by donating at

The tough-as-nails former Panthers skipper is tackling his Alzheimer’s diagnosis just as he would any other opponent on the footy field – head on and with the benefit of his ‘team’ and their supporters as his major priority.