Bill Cullen speeds through the defence the QRL training camp.
Bill Cullen speeds through the defence the QRL training camp. Allan Reinikka

League skills top the agenda

MORE than 75 eager young footballers have spent this past week developing new skills at Rockhampton's 2011 QRL training camp.

The educational summer camp helped to develop players aged 12 to 17 from across Central Queensland, through mentoring them over multiple training sessions.

League education development officer Dominic Draper said the camp was held at the Rockhampton Grammar school and also provided educational courses for the development of coaches, sports trainers and first aid officers.

"The aim of the camp is for kids to come and have an enjoyable time learning to play rugby league, as well as running educational courses for officials," Draper said.

"We have been trying to develop their skills in a learning environment which is enjoyable, and then putting the skills they have learnt into a game sense approach," he said.

Queensland Rugby League was involved with the organisation of this year's camp, along with the major sponsor CQ NRL Bid.

"The Central division of the QRL supplies all the staff, so all our development staff are here, as well as a range of experienced coaches," Draper said.

The camps have been running annually in December for more than 25 years varying between Toowoomba, Townsville and Gold Coast.

"This is the second camp that we have held in Rockhampton with the first one being in December last year," Draper said.

Slight changes were made to the running of this year's camp with coaches' approach being more "hands-on" earlier in the week.

"This year we have been lucky enough to have the under-16 and under-18's Cyril Connell and Mal Meninga Cups in camp also this week, so we have been able to join in with some of their activities," Draper said.

Special guest John Harbin, coach of Central Queensland Capras, lectured for the camp's coaches and sports trainers over the weekend.

Harbin was not the only QRL staff member involved with the camp who had previous coaching experience.

"Denis Moore has been working with us, who has previous English Super League experience as well as being assistant coach of Manly in 2008, when they won the premiership," Draper said.

The camp was an overall success, with perfect weather for majority of the week.