Five of our most talented youngsters recently attended the 2018 NRL Rookie Camp to undertake a number of workshops tailored around the opportunities and dangers associated with being an NRL player.
Sharks young guns Kyle Flanagan, Blayke Brailey, Cruz Topai-Aveai, Josh Carr and Briton Nikora were among the 90 NRL hopefuls who took part in the two-day camp, learning valuable life lessons on the pressures of playing in the NRL and how to deal with issues that could arise during their careers.
They were exposed to hard-hitting presentations on everything from the dangers of recreational drug use and how sports stars are targets for organised crime, to protecting their brand and staying true to themselves.
The first NRL Rookie Camp was held in 2006 and has since been an annual event for players heading into their first season in the top grade.
The aim is to provide them with the right tools and information, so that they can navigate this new environment they’re entering, and ultimately make the right choices to maximise the opportunities the game could give them.
Sharks half back Kyle Flanagan was impressed with both the quality and quantity of the workshops
“We looked at everything from financial and wellbeing, to branding, personal image and social media,” Flanagan said
“There is a lot about your own values, where your values came from and sticking by them, and it’s good to learn from other people’s experiences as well.”
Former Seattle Seahawks NFL defensive tackle Jesse Williams was among the guest speakers from both within and outside the game, and his message was one that certainly resonated with Flanagan.
“Jesse Williams was great, I learned a lot from him and it’s pretty good to hear from past players who have played so many games about the ins and outs of the NRL.”