Sport

Future league stars put on a show

Wide Bay Girls Rugby League emerging talent camp at Urangan State High School. Chantelle Bartlett from Hervey Bay.
Wide Bay Girls Rugby League emerging talent camp at Urangan State High School. Chantelle Bartlett from Hervey Bay. Alistair Brightman

THE next generation of women's rugby league stars have been given a glimpse of what's expected to succeed at the next level.

In an initiative designed to encourage the growth of girls' rugby league, Wide Bay held an emerging talent camp for 35 primary school-aged participants

Believed to be the first of its kind, the three-day camp was hosted at Urangan State High School with schools from the Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, South Burnett and Cherbourg represented.

New Wide Bay under-12 schoolgirls coach Michael Hutchinson put the girls through their paces, but also called on the expertise of Hervey Bay Zone coach Rob Messer and 2013 Wide Bay coach Lynelle Nissen.

Players were able to develop an insight into the commitment required to excel in rugby league and gain an understanding of the skills required to perform at their best.

Hutchinson said the girls lapped up the opportunity to show their wares and learn new techniques.

"There was a lot of girls, you naturally saw at the start of the camp to the end of the camp their development had grown 100 times - that was a real positive," he said.

"But their behaviour and their attitude towards the coaches and teachers within the activities were outstanding.

"From the coaches' point-of-view, it was very successful and the girls seemed to enjoy it.

"Hopefully we've planted the seed for them to really take the game on."

The weekend program included three days of intensive training, recovery and education sessions as well as two trial matches to allow coaches to evaluate each player's potential.

The emerging camp is expected to pave the way for players to win Wide Bay selection and stamp themselves as pivotal members of the team looking for state supremacy at the Queensland Primary School Girls Rugby League Championship in Warwick in September.

Wide Bay finished third in the inaugural carnival in Hervey Bay last year.

Although this year's squad won't be announced until after the Wide Bay trials in Gympie next month, Hutchinson was confident his team would deliver an improved performance.

"We're expecting to pick a very strong Wide Bay to send to the state carnival and we're hoping to go a couple better this time," he said.

Based on the feedback from participants, it is expected the emerging camp will become a permanent fixture on the calendar.

Hutchinson said many people had worked tirelessly to ensure the Wide Bay region continued to set a benchmark at the girls rugby league level.

"There has been a lot of hard work done, which started with Richard Dugdale, the former Wide Bay NRL officer, and we're really happy with the amount of girls who keep coming back," he said.