The Northern Inland Academy of Sports’ Rugby League squad travelled to Sydney last week for their end of season tour with the support of Tamworth Services Club.
Head coach Peter Stevens and team manager Scott Bone were thrilled with the efforts from the squad members after months of hard work on and off the field.
“The Sydney tour was a rewarding experience for our boys. Our athletes got a clear understanding of the pathway and what it takes to become a professional rugby league athlete,” Stevens said.
'The Sydney tour was a rewarding experience for our boys. Our athletes got a clear understanding of the pathway and what it takes to become a professional rugby league athlete'Head coach Peter Stevens
The squad had the chance to see the Canterbury Bulldogs take on the Newcastle Knights at Belmore Sports Ground in a thriller on the Sunday.
Stevens was pleased the athletes had the opportunity to watch these professional athletes display their skills.
“To be able to watch first class athletes including local product Hayden Loughrey in the Under 20s was tremendous for our athletes.
“Our boys got a lot out of the match,” Stevens said.
The squad toured the Bulldogs’ training and playing facilities and given an insight into the steps it takes to become a professional athlete.
“It was a great insight into the hours and effort these professional athletes put in towards realising their dream of playing on the big stage” Stevens said.
The squad travelled to Leichardt for their first match of the tour against Balmain Tigers.
The match was held on the famous Leichardt Oval, one of the home grounds of West Tigers and scene of many famous matches.
“It was a great experience for our boys to run out and play a match on a field like Leichardt Oval. Many of the games greats have played here.”
This may be the biggest stadium that some of these boys will ever play in during their carrers,” manager Scott Bone said.
The NIAS boys travelled to the Central Coast to compete in a round robin format against Central Coast and the Newcastle Knights Under 15 development squads before heading back to Tamworth.
“The boys finished strongly and followed our game plan throughout the majority of the match.
“Some of the boys really stood up and took on a leadership role for the rest of the squad,” Stevens said.
ATHLETE PROFILE: Taryn Maher
What city do you come from: Gunnedah
How long have you been involved with NIAS: One year
Ambition: My goal is to compete in and win a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour event.
Highest achievement: Amateur Union of the United States Golf Junior Under 15 years Champion.
Who is your sporting hero: Australia’s former world number 1, Jason Day.
Biggest influence: My Dad, for his always driving me to and from tournaments on his weekends.
What do you like doing when you’re not involved in sport: Catching up with my friends and family, especially on my weekends when I’m not away for tournaments.