More than 100 Indigenous boys and girls have hit the ground running in a bid to represent their state in February, as the 2016 Indigenous camp kicks off in Sydney's south west.
A total of 60 under-16 boys, 22 under-16 girls and 25 17-year-old boys (acting as mentors) took to New Era Stadium in Cabramatta yesterday, where the group underwent physical testing and Rugby League skills and drills. The camp, based out of the Holiday Inn Wawrick Farm Hotel, is a joint initiative of the NSWRL and the TAFE South Western Sydney Institute.
NSWRL Head of Competitions Yvette Downey explains that it is a worthwhile experience for all involved.
"This is a great opportunity for the boys and girls to develop, not only as footballers, but as people," Downey said. "The camp not only teaches them about Rugby League but it is an educational experience, with classes run every day throughout the camp on fitness."
While Indigenous Rugby League legend Ronny Gibbs is heavily involved, NSW Blues coach Laurie Daley also made a guest appearance to teach some valuable lessons about life as a footballer on and off the field. The participants will remain at Warwick Farm until Friday, when the camp moves to the Sports Academy at Narrabeen ahead of Sunday’s selection matches for the NSW Under-16 Indigenous All Stars side. That side will line up against their Queensland counterparts during the week-long NRL All Stars celebrations in February.