Twelve-year-old Teykoa Nagas is one of the junior rugby league players to receive a QR National scholarship from the CQ NRL Bid Team.
Twelve-year-old Teykoa Nagas is one of the junior rugby league players to receive a QR National scholarship from the CQ NRL Bid Team. Chris Ison

League legends to mentor youth

FOR youngsters like Teykoa Nagas a scholarship with the CQ NRL Bid has given him the opportunity to be mentored by some of the former greats of the game.

Last Friday night some of the greatest players to ever play rugby league were at the CQ Leagues Club to show their support for the CQ NRL Bid and for the NRL Bid Season Launch at which over 200 people attended.

A special part of the night included the presentation of the 11 QR National Scholarship recipients and their mentors.

Gary Larson, Jason Hetherington, Alan McIndoe, Steve Bell, Matt Sing, PJ Marsh, Justin Loomans, Kevin Campion and Mark Hohn were part of a star-studded line up on the night.

Larson, Hetherington, McIndoe, Bell, Sing, Marsh and Loomans will provide mentoring and guidance to the young scholarship recipients along with Rhys Wesser, Mark Graham, Nick Kenny and Sid Domic who were unable to make it on the night.

CQ NRL Bid business and community development officer Walson Carlos said the mentoring is an integral part of the QR National Scholarship set up by the CQ NRL Bid team.

"The scholarship provides a three tier support to recipients," he said.

"There is financial support, mentoring and player welfare education."

Carlos said the mentoring was an active part of the scheme with each mentor contacting the players on his allocation list of players by phone and email on a regular basis.

Also the mentor will watch the youngster play football whenever possible.

"The mentoring is one of the most important parts of the program," Carlos said.

"It's pretty special for the youngsters to be mentored by someone who has played over a hundred NRL games or represented Queensland or their country."

Regular contact with former players who have already trod the path to NRL stardom helps the young players to focus on their football and "remain grounded".

The third tier of the program involves Andrew Pratt, a teacher from Emmaus College, who is highly experienced in player welfare education and has a background with the Queensland Reds.

"He talks to the youngsters about substance abuse, social issues and football related issues," Carlos said.

The nine mentors at the launch boasted over 1700 NRL and Super League Games, 88 State of Origins and 32 International games between them.

Meanwhile, Kevin Campion and Mark Hohn were also present at the function representing their cleaning services business, TJS Cleaning Services, which is one of 150 Corporate Partners of the CQ NRL Bid.

Guest speaker for thelaunch was Gold Coast Titans chairman Paul Broughton who gave the football-savvy attendees an insight into the NRL and the challenges of securing an NRL licence.



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