By Steve Grant - Dolphins Development Officer
Wednesday, August 6
The last 24 hours has seen the Redcliffe Dolphins car clocking up some miles along the Warrego and Landsborough Highways.
We broke up the 13 hour trip with an overnight stop in Roma - home of the Dolphins 2013 Country Week visit - and caught up with locals for dinner at the Royal Hotel.
This morning it was back on the road, destination Longreach.
We've seen a few interesting things along the way:
On the main street of Mitchell a dog jumped out of the back of a guy’s ute, chased the ute up the street at about 40km/hr then jumped back in.
The Lansborough Highway looks like a kangaroo grave yard with lots of animals every 50-100m of the entire 400km stretch.
We witnessed an emu duck out in front of an elderly couple in their land cruiser just ahead of us with feathers flying everywhere.
We know that there are lots of animals in remote areas and on the long stretches of highway, but us city guys weren't expecting so much.
We've been lucky ourselves to not have hit any of the wildlife so far.
We stopped in at Barcaldine for lunch and visited the well known Tree Of Knowledge.
Soon after we arrived in Longreach.
Our tip for our visiting players, staff and supporters soon to make the trek out, if your mobile isn't hooked up with our sponsor Telstra, you might not get much coverage!
This afternoon we ran a coaching clinic with the local junior league players from the Longreach Thompson Tigers at the showgrounds.
It was great to get the first look at where our team will be playing this week's Get in the Game Country Week game.
Players aged from 9-13 years worked on their catch/pass and decision making skills with us.
Thanks to their coach Steve Smith and all the kids for coming out to do some sessions this week with us, we're looking forward to visiting you at your schools during the rest of the week also.
We donated the club a signed 2014 Village Motors Redcliffe Dolphins jersey so they can use it for some fundraising for their Club.
Each of the players from the under 13s team will be reppin their Dolphins Snapbacks in support of our Intrust Super Cup team on Saturday at the Longreach Showgrounds.
Tomorrow our journey sees us head to Ilfracombe State School, home town of Cowboys, Maroons and Australian front rower Matt Scott. .
Thursday, August 7
This morning we departed the motor inn with only a short 30km drive down the highway to the town of Ilfracombe.
We were greeted out the front of the school two of our new mates from yesterday's training session with the Longreach Thompson Tigers.
We were soon joined by a heap more kids, all keen to help us unpack the Dolphins car and get ready to have some fun with the footy’s.
Ilfracombe State School has a total enrolment figure of 23 kids. They range in age from Prep (about six years old) up to grade 7 (12 years old).
Inside the school playground they have some wildlife with a few local kangaroos regularly visiting and a long-haired dachshund named Sam.
We spent the session doing different drills/games that worked on their ball grip, catching, passing, evasion, try scoring, kicking, and 2-V-1 decision making.
One thing is certain after our visit to Ilfracombe SS, the Dolphins now have an extra 23 supporters!
The afternoon consisted of a visit to the famous pub in Ilfracombe where many a patrons leave their hat to be hung up on the wall.
Perhaps there will be a new red and white edition the next time we visit.
Due to unforeseen circumstances our scheduled visit to Barcaldine State School has been abandoned.
To fill our time we will visit the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame and do some 2015 planning for the new Classic Sportswear Development Squad and the training syllabus for 2015 junior teams.
Friday, August 8
Woke up this morning and Longreach has turned on a cracker of a day for what will be the last of visiting the local schools.
Today is also the day our players arrive and they would be joining us for the afternoon session.
First up it was out to Longreach State High School.
We worked with a group of kids from years 8-12.
They showed great enthusiasm as we played several different games for the morning session.
Tomorrow one of the local high schoolers will be playing on the wing for the Longreach Thompson Tigers when they take on the Barcaldine Sand Goannas.
After Longreach SHS we went over to the other side of town to join up with our friends from the NRL Game Development, the NRL game development staff arrived in yesterday afternoon and took sessions today at Longreach SS.
We delivered them some Dolphins posters to hand out on our behalf before heading over to the local private school "Our Lady's".
This is where we spent the afternoon with the kids from Years Prep-3.
The kids had a blast and got to have a meet and greet with our Intrust Super Cup team.
This evening we are headed to a function with both teams and Petero as the NRL Ambassador at the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame ahead of tomorrow's game.
Go the Phins!
Saturday, August 9
The Village Motors Dolphins Development tour continued this morning with a visit to the Longreach Showgrounds for the local junior rugby league fixtures.
Today we had some special visitors with the NRL Game Development crew and both the Dolphins and Burleigh Intrust Super Cup teams joining us.
The sides playing were the combined under 6 and 7's sides from the Longreach Thompson Tigers, Barcaldine Sand Goannas and Blackall Magpies clubs.
Today is what junior rugby league is all about in the bush with Barcaldine travelling 107km and Blackall 213km for their 9.30am kickoff.
"It's a big commitment from all the mums and dads but look at the smiles on the kids faces, it was fantastic to be a part of," Dolphins fullback Adrian Davis said.
The players from both Intrust Super Cup teams were a big hit with the little kids who get little exposure to semi and professional rugby league players other than on television.
The Bears and Dolphins players had a meet and greet with the junior teams and happily posed for photos and signed autographs.
More importantly they spent time with the kids doing warm up drills and basic rugby league skill games prior to kick off.
They then formed a guard of honour for the teams to run through, clapping them onto the field and then stayed to watch the games cheering the teams on from the sideline.
A big thank you to club CEO's Grant Cleal and Damian Driscoll coaches Troy Lindsay and Jim Lenihan for allowing their players to take part in today's promotion on match day.
Congratulations go the Queensland Rugby League and State Government for the Get in the Game Country Week initiative.