Some of Central Division’s most promising young players have not only been receiving a footballing education on the field – but they have also been learning plenty of off-field skills as well.

A selected group of future leaders from Central’s Cyril Connell Cup system have been taking part in the Young Warrior program – including a weekend leadership camp at the Sunshine Coast Hinterland on May 14-15.

Central Division, in partnership with The Resilient Leaders Foundation, have developed a youth leadership program in line with the mission of the QRL: “To bring people together and enrich their lives focusing on excellence, inclusiveness, courage and teamwork.”

The aim of the Young Warrior Program is to build young men’s understanding, skills and attributes around personal leadership, self-confidence, emotional literacy and teamwork, and provides participants an opportunity to explore who they are and test their personal limitations whilst being supported by peers and other men.

Central Division’s Welfare and Education Manager Trish Drummond said the Division were strong believers in developing the person and not just the rugby league player.

“Football is a game where we need to be not only skilful on the field but also a well-rounded individual in all aspects of life,” Ms Drummond said.

“For me, it is exciting to be working with our future generations of potential Queensland and NRL players, helping them be the best young men they can be on and off the field.

“We are excited to see how the boys go after the program when they are back playing footy and in their day to day lives”.

While all players in the Cyril Connell program had the opportunity to be selected, only those who demonstrated leadership qualities were selected in order to enhance these skill to positively influence peers.

This camp was run by a group called “The Centre of Resilient Leadership” with director James Greenshields taking the boys, with their club support mentors, out bush for a weekend to help them understand their leadership qualities, assisting them with implementing them when they return.

“Learning the skills taught by James Greenshields and his team gives the guys the opportunity to start applying them to their lives at a young age, learning how to overcome things in their older years which may have seemed harder if they had not learnt the tenants taught by the program,” Ms Drummond said.

This program is part of a much larger push within Central Division to promote resilience. Club Support Officers have already been working with the boys as mentors who can provide a deep, practical understanding of the concepts taught during the program; and through their own personal life experience are able to assist young men as mentors.

Selections for 2017 mentors and Young Warriors will begin again soon.

*Find out more about the Young Warrior Leadership Project here