Pictured: Players, coaches and officials involved in the first Semi-Pro Day earlier this year.
Nearly 400 players and club officials will attend the annual Intrust Super Cup Semi-Pro Day at UQ St Lucia this Saturday as the game ramps up its wellbeing and education programs.
Thirteen clubs will each be represented by 25 players and five officials, meaning the number of attendees will eclipse last year’s inaugural event which brought the nine south east Queensland clubs together.
In a major boost for participants state-wide, regional clubs Northern Pride, Townsville Blackhawks, Mackay Cutters and Central Queensland Capras will for the first time link with the south east teams this weekend.
The only club not participating is the PNG Hunters, who will instead receive direct support and training during one of their extended stays in Queensland next year.
Murray Hurst and David Solomona from the NRL’s Queensland-based Wellbeing & Education team have put together the program with Trish Drummond (QRL Central Division).
“Our main focus this weekend is wellbeing, from both a physical and emotional perspective,” Hurst said.
“Players who are prepared to listen and engage with presenters will learn a lot from the day, from everyday life skills to more specific professional development tools.”
Topics to be covered include mental health, cultural awareness, resilience and drugs and alcohol.
The players will also take part in Theatre Sports, an engaging program that places players in real-life scenarios.
Semi-Pro Day presenters include National Drug Awareness founder Tony Parsons, Wests Tigers Community Manager Shaun Spence, former NRL player Paul Whatuira and Indigenous consultant John Briggs.
The players and officials will also hear directly from QRL Head of Football Neil Wharton and Competitions Manager David Maiden ahead of the 2017 Intrust Super Cup season.