The “New year, new me” policies have worn off for many midway through January, but Penrith Panthers young gun Shawn Blore still has his sights set on self-fulfilment in 2018.
The Penrith Brothers junior has been a standout in his progression through the junior ranks, representing the victorious NSW Under-16s in 2016 and the Australian Schoolboys at the under-15s and under-18s levels. Blore was again part of the NSWRL Pathways program in this week’s Under-16s and Under-18s High Performance Camp – the first step in a big year.
“I probably just try to better myself as a person, off the field more than on it,” Blore tells NSWRL.com.au. “That’s always what this camp is about – trying to make better people off the field. That’s something I want to focus on.
“Hopefully [I] become someone that can be looked up to by younger people coming into the game; that’s probably something that I’d strongly focus on in this camp.”
Leadership, Blore says, is the key to taking his game to the next level.
“In team meetings, at training, in groups, I always try to keep the talk up, just trying to improve my leadership qualities,” Blore adds. “That’s always something that the coach is looking for.
“Teammates look at that person and see he’s leading by example and that’s the player that I want to be.”
An often-used line by players is that with good club performances, representative opportunities will take care of themselves; that holds true for the 17-year-old, who will once again line up for the Panthers in the 2018 SG Ball Cup.
“The boys have been knuckling down at training pretty hard and that’s always good to see,” Blore says. “[We’re] good mates in and out of training, always talking, always telling jokes and that’s a strong relationship among the team.
“Hopefully we can take them to the first games and get some momentum going.”
A friendly sibling rivalry with older brother Dean – himself a former NSWRL Pathways representative – has also kept Shawn Blore’s hunger for improvement alive.
“He always gives me a few sessions, gives me a few tips and pulls me up all the time,” Blore laughs. “Even at training he’s always trying to stay one step ahead of me and that’s always good, having that little brotherly thing going on.
“We still love each other but there’s just a bit of a rivalry there.”
The Panthers will start their 2018 SG Ball campaign at Panthers Stadium on Saturday, 10 February, with the Balmain Tigers their likely Round 1 opponents.