A group of aspiring junior rugby league players took part in the second NRL / QRL Far North Queensland Spring Mod camp and holiday clinic held in this region for seven years at Daradgee Environmental Education Centre.
The camp consisted of young players aged 10 and 11 who came from Innisfail, Tully, Cairns, Atherton Tablelands, Mount Isa and Weipa, which saw numbers increase from 17 last year to 43.
For the first time, six boys travelled long distances from Mabuiag Island (situated 100km north of Thursday Island) to take part in the camp which was run over three days and two nights.
This was made possible by Mabuiag Junior Rugby League coach Sam Joe.
This year a group of 12-year-old youngsters also attended to assist them in the transition to international footy.
North Queensland Cowboys NRL sensations, Jake Clifford from Tully and Enari Tuala have both attended this camp in the past.
The camp was run by Cairns-based NRL Game Development staff Alby Anderson, Atul Chowdhary and William Kennedy, who is also a referee.
Adam MacDonald, former President of Mossman Junior Rugby League, is the new NRL Development officer for the Cape region.
Renae Bonner, the new NRL Non-Contact development officer from Mount Isa along with Tanya Tully, the QRL Club Support staff member, also attended as a Level 2 Sports Trainer.
Also in attendance was Maddi Stammers, a new NRL trainee based in Cairns who is studying Certificate III In Sports and Recreation and sponsored by Redlynch Razorbacks Junior Rugby League club.
Participants learnt about the history of rugby league, team building activities, setting goals and standards, healthy nutritional habits which included eating right, health and hygiene, as well as the importance of 8-9 hours sleep.
They also added to their personal rugby league skills set with new skills through four point training plans, open and closed drills plus skill based games, such as Mohawk challenge.
Northern Pride Under 20 coach Dave Scott and players Teddy Anson and Jarom Mairu paid a visit on the first day of the camp where they interacted and participated in rugby league activities with the juniors players.
All the boys have enjoyed the experience and felt they learnt new things and valuable life skills, which included them being required to wash their dishes and clean up after meals.
Activities included a movie night where the youngsters watched the movie Coach Carter to see appropriate behaviour in sport.
They also watched an old State of Origin game, the season opener in 1994 which featured Mark Coyne's 'miracle' try in the dying moments to secure a Queensland Maroons victory to give the youngsters an appreciation of the game's rich long and rich history.
The team were extremely appreciative to the team at Daradgee Environmental Education Centre, especially Angelina, Stephen and Noel, as well as the cook for the amazing meals.
Spring Mod camps were also held in Townsville and Mackay which attracted strong numbers.
NRL Game Development officer Atul Chowdhary is responsible for promoting the game from south of Cairns, as well as Cassowary Coast down to Cardwell.
For any rugby league needs in your area, contact Atul on 0402 892 834 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Main image: NRL and QRL staff with the 43 juniors who participated in the three day FNQ Spring Mod Camp at Daradgee Environmental Education Centre. Photo: Maria Girgenti