As a teacher, Ipswich Jets Hastings Deering Colts coach Chris Ash knows that when you discover a learning gap, you should work to fill it with information that will benefit the student, and that’s an approach he brings to his coaching as well.
In his role, Ash found a gap in his team’s knowledge and went about filling it with information about the club.
“We have three former Jets on our staff with the Colts; Dan Coburn, Josh Seage and Sam Martin and one night, one of the Colts asked Sam Martin if he played football,” Ash said.
“Marto played 139 games for the Jets and was part of the 2015 premiership.
“I thought then we needed to do something and help the Colts understand Ipswich rugby league and the Ipswich Jets.”
After some planning, Ash went about incorporating some history lessons into the Jets' fitness day, which was held on Saturday.
The Colts assembled at North Ipswich Reserve at 6am for a day full of fitness, which included some drills which all Jets should be familiar with.
“Any Jet will tell you that we have a series of runs we would do, every Jet had to do them,” Ash said.
“We used to call it the ‘Brodies run’... Brodies was right on the corner of the Reserve, so you had to run up the street around the Brodies shop and back and keep doing it.
“It was part of Jets fitness folklore. We have brought back a few old ‘Jets fitness’ tests for Colts.”
Next up, it was the time for Colts to gain some Jets history, with Ash turning to another teacher to lead the lessons.
“Seagey and I got Jets staff member Michael Nunn in to come and talk to the Colts about the Jets... no one knows the Jets history better than Nunny and he loves telling stories,” Ash said.
“He spoke about the start of the Jets, how hard it has been at times, of how men like Sandy Savige and Jim Landy have given so much and taken so little.
“We started in the state league, but the point he kept making was we have never had the best teams, but everyone he interviews for his stories says the same thing – Ipswich is tough, Ipswich doesn’t go away.
“That’s a cultural thing and something we want our Colts to understand. We want it ingrained in our Colts.
“Nunny spoke about our coaching staff and how we have all played for the Jets and gave all our career stats and we are still here.”
To make sure they were taking the lessons on board, the Colts also had to answer questions about the Jets while under fatigue and if they got the opposition or year wrong, it meant a course of burpees.
The day finished with lunch and videos of former players – including Dirk Tazelaar, who scored a try in the Jets very first win ever in 1983 – welcoming the Colts.
“Dirk even had his jumper from 1983 on in the video, that showed real passion, he’s played cricket for Queensland, but has his Jets jumper front and centre,” Ash said.
“Ricky Bird played 118 games for the Jets and thrilled Ipswich crowds.
“Brendon Lindsay played 135 games and they all took the time to help our club, that’s a special club.”