For a lot of budding Rugby League talents, Touch Football is the first point of call for those wanting to pursue and hone the fundamental skills of the sport.
For others, it’s the only means available.
When unfortunately hit by a car at just six years of age in May of 2012, local sports enthusiast Alex Crook was desperate to partake in junior sports, although unable to due to the severe head injuries suffered in the accident.
Crook, now 9-years-old, was left wanting to play Junior Rugby League, but advised against doing so by health experts.
And so, the Crook family turned to Touch Football Australia for support. Passed fit and able to play in the non-contact game, Touch Football quickly became a sport which Alex now can’t get enough of.
“After the shock of the accident, there was a huge realisation from (Alex’s father) Russell and I, we wondered how we were going to manage Alex as we could see he still wanted to do all that he used to, prior to the accident,” Mrs. Crook said.
“We really wanted the best for him, so we tried to involve him as many activities that he wanted to as possible.
“We had to manage his expectations. He wanted to play sport with his brother and I was so relieved when his Neurosurgeon said Touch Football would be okay. Alex was competitive before the accident and he still is, so we’re happy that he can still play a ball-in-hand sport.”
Alex starred in the Sharks’ U10 representative side at last week’s NSW Touch State Cup held in Port Macquarie, with the Black, White & Blue fielding a total of seven teams at the event.
“We have some excellent young talent in the club and it bodes well for the Sharks Touch Academy that will be launched this year,” said Jason Stanton, Head of Cronulla Elite Skills & Touch Football Academy.
“The under 10 boys overcame some excellent opposition, and to have sat undefeated after six games was a significant achievement for this young team.”
Watch below a message of congratulations to Alex, from the Sharks NRL squad members Junior Roqica and Sam Tagataese.