Players from the Far South Coast Monaro Academy, including three from Cooma, assembled at Sapphire Valley Caravan Park in Merimbula recently for the first of four camps.
Cooma's Zane Weston, Joel Smith and Blayne Thomas all participated as members of the academy.
Players had the benefit of a session with NRL player Nick Emmett and his brother Tyson a personal trainer where they gained an insight into the life of a professional player and what it takes to reach the elite level of your chosen field. Players also heard lectures about different aspects that they will face, decisions they will have to make and enabling them to be informed so that they can undertake the right decision at the right time. Understanding the benefits of eating well, correct stretching routines, effects of rehab after each session and the importance of rest were just some of the topics covered during the weekend. "Having these players experience a pinch of what a professional sportsperson goes through is the ultimate aim and for each player to realise that they are in control of their own destiny is what we try and cover off on by camps end," NRL Game Development Officer Damian Lindeberg said after the weekend. "It was intense, hard but an absolute blast and really looking forward to the next camp but will be training hard between now and then," Joe Stewart from Eden said.
Each player will now have their five week training program, training three days a week, morning and afternoon plus a gym program before meeting in Jindabyne for the next camp on December 15 and 16. This camp will be very skill orientated and of high intensity while being exposed to altitude training at the Station Resort.