Club provides a full-on week of footy for junior players

Some of the players who took part in the Cobar Junior Rugby League’s full-on week of footy clinics at Ailsa Fitzsimmons Memorial Oval last week

The Cobar Roosters Junior Rugby League Club held a full week of free footy clinics last week during the school holidays.
The clinics were a result of much hard work by the committee over the past eight months, driven by a desire to support as many players as possible to engage in and improve their skills in rugby league.
The group of 80 players from Under 6s to Under 16s were divided into three age groups for 3-4 hours of footy related activities each day. Local coaches also attended some of the night sessions.
Club president Genie McMullen said staff from Rugby League Academy (RLA) shared their in-depth knowledge to coach the kids and develop their footy skills.
“The players had so much fun they didn’t want to leave! It was incredible to see the level of engagement of our U6 to U8 age group,” Genie said.
“Their strategies for bringing so much fun and enthusiasm into training drills focusing on core skills was phenomenal.”
The RLA also had two sessions with coaches to share their expertise.
In other sessions, the BlackFit Fitness staff used fun, physical activities involving Indige-nous education, interwoven with traditional games, storytelling and dance to share an ap-preciation for the importance of Aboriginal culture with the players.
Genie said the players were engaged and thoroughly enjoyed these activities.
“Coaches also had an after-hours session with BlackFit Fitness discussing some Indige-nous topics, both past and present, and enhanc-ing the understanding of cultural issues.”
As well as the expertise of these two profes-sional organisations, the club invited others to enhance the players’ experience across the week.
“When planning the clinic week, the commit-tee felt it was important to showcase local tal-ent so our members could appreciate the level of sporting talent in the Cobar community,” Genie said.
Experienced First Grader Jimmy Neyland spent two days with the players running ses-sions to share his kicking skills.
“Jimmy also shared stories about his footy journey with the groups, with players saying they learned a lot from hearing what Jimmy had achieved, from his early footy days as a very talented player with the Nyngan Tigers, his experiences trialing with Eels, Sharks and Knights and being selected on the Indigenous U20s team that played Great Britain,” Genie reported.
As part of the clinics, Eden Coughlan from Copper City Dance Centre, shared tips on injury prevention and recovery.
“Eden demonstrated dynamic and static stretching routines while engaging the groups in discussions on their importance, stretching some to their limit, and supporting the groups to come up with their own routines based on what they had learned through the week.
“More local talent was on show with Lisa Travis, supported by Trent Fullagar, Emma Barton and Tom Plater building on the recent success of the junior touch football competi-tions.
“The club also welcomed support from sen-ior players Sione Fakahua and Loma Atuau, ‘new locals’ whose children now play for the club in the minis age group.
“Loma and Sione generously gave their time to tell the players about themselves, their herit-age and their interesting journeys with footy, in development squads and lower grades at Ti-gers, Sharks and Manly NRL clubs.
“They encouraged the players to work hard at their sport, and led the groups through skills sessions,” Genie said.
Excitement is now building for the start of the juniors season, which kicks off in May.