Developing Our OWN

Last week the CQ NRL Bid development squad conducted their first camp of 2012 at Yeppoon, under Head Coach Lionel Harbin and his very professional coaching staff. This year, the first team to wear the CQ NRL Bid colours are under 14. Even though it is less than twelve months since they came together for the first time, I have noticed some dramatic differences in their persona.  The young and often shy and insecure 13 year olds of last year are now much more confident and mature young men. It is the measure of this wonderful program that these changes are more than obvious.

The program involves recruiting around twenty-five of the most talented and motivated 14 year old Rugby League players from right across Central Queensland and exposing them to a range of experiences that will help them become better and smarter Rugby League players and more mature young men.  The key focus of the camp is player welfare training, contemporary athletic profiling, strength and conditioning training along with Rugby League skills and knowledge development.

The CQ NRL Bid Development Manager, Walson Carlos, Coach Lionel Harbin and the vast network of scouts and advisors who identify and recruit the players have deliberately nominated young men from most regions of Central Queensland. The CQ NRL Bid development squad originates from Mackay, Rockhampton, Capricorn Coast, the Coal Fields and Central Highlands, the Central West, Gladstone, Bundaberg, and a few smaller towns and regions across CQ. There is even a youngster from Pompuraaw on the Western coast of Cape York but he boards in Yeppoon so we have claimed him as one of us. He likes this inclusion.  These young men are truly representative of this great Heartland of Rugby League – Central Queensland

The CQ NRL Bid provides fully qualified professionals to deliver and appraise each component of very thorough curricula. Most of these local professionals provide their time at no costs because they believe in the objectives of the programs and in the future of the people involved.  The players are exposed to an age modified but detailed “code of conduct” that encourages and even demands responsible and respectful behaviour and attitudes.  The education and welfare components deliberately expose the youngsters to situations that they may encounter as professional athletes as well as explaining the responsibilities that they require as role models in their communities. They obtain an insight into the world of professional Rugby League where social pressures are ever present and public scrutiny is intense. In this group there is no delusion as to what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.  There will be no surprises down the track. The CULTURE is being developed now and this culture will be the strength of the CQ NRL Club.

It is the CQ NRL Bid’s intention that this squad will form the core of our National Youth Team or Under 20’s as they are commonly referred to, when the CQ NRL team participates in the NRL in 2015. A few will undoubtedly play first grade.

The composition of future CQ NRL teams will be 70% from CQ. We have commenced this involved process already and the results to date are absolutely brilliant. It’s a credit to all involved.

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