Dolphins staff hit the road delivering more Development Clinics in regional Queensland last week, working with country kids and coaches to improve skills and strengthen the game of rugby league in remote areas.
Dolphins CEO Tony Murphy said the regional tours are a Dolphins initiative, supported by the QRL and NRL. “The Dolphins have always had close ties to the country since 1947 and we have been running Development initiatives out west since the 1970s,” he said.
Dolphins Development staff hit the road early Tuesday, arriving at Gayndah to work with children from U6-U16 on defensive and skills drills. On Wednesday the team was at Mulgildie State School, holding a Coaching Clinic for all ages, before heading the Springsure to work on skill rotation rugby league drills with Junior Club members. The Dolphins also delivered a Coach Educational Session. On Wednesday the Dolphins pulled into Emerald and conducted training at the Emerald Cowboys with the U13 boys and girls, Open Girls and Open Men’s teams as well as delivering another Coach Educational Session.
General Manger of Football Grant Cleal said that the Club puts resources into regional Development programs as a way of giving kids in these areas the chance to work with the Dolphins, and to give back to places that have given so much to the Dolphins. “There’s no end to the depth of talent in regional areas and we have had hundreds of players come to Redcliffe from the country. We can thank places like Roma for the likes of Arthur Beetson, Wally Fullerton-Smith and the Cherry Brothers,” he said.
Grant said the Dolphins are committed to the regional program and hopes to see many more kids from these areas make their way to the Dolphins. “Our Country Academy is the next step in the Pathway. Kids from regional areas are invited to the Dolphins for weekend clinics to train with our Coaches and use our facilities. It is our goal to develop these players into Senior Dolphins and give them a shot at playing professionally one day,” he said.
Football Operations Manager, Steve Crawford led the team delivering clinics during the week and said that the Dolphins can look forward to seeing more talent come from regional areas in the future. “It never ceases to amaze me how much enthusiasm and talent there is out there,” he said. “And no matter where we go, all the kids know the Dolphins and are right behind our Club.”
The Development Team finished the road trip nearly 1,000km from where they started, in Clermont where together with the Village Motors Dolphins Intrust Super Cup team, they delivered a training clinic to around 60 local juniors. Each junior took home a Dolphins cap which many had signed by the players after the clinic.