ASPIRING rugby league players from around the region converged on the Capricorn Coast as the Queensland Rugby League hosted its annual summer camp.
The camp aimed to assist the development of rugby league in Central Queensland. It began on Monday at Yeppoon Active Recreation Centre, Cooee Bay.
Around 70 kids from Bundaberg, Middlemount, Gladstone, Roma, Longreach, Emerald, Tannum Sands, Charleville, Blackall and Rockhampton attended the week-long camp.
Event co-ordinator and NRL Game Development officer Dominic Draper said the camp not only offered development, but also an opportunity for the kids to enjoy themselves.
"Its along the lines of 'come along, have a good time and also learn a lot about the game'," Draper said.
"We're trying to help the kids develop and not just in rugby league, but also in their life skills and stuff like that because it's really important for them."
Draper said the camp provided a lot of development, interaction with other players as well as giving coaches and volunteer staff the opportunity to further their skills.
"The camp is a part of the Game Development division of the NRL and nearly all the staff at the camp have been coaches for representative teams, as well as former NRL coach Murray Hurst and former Manly Assistant Dennis Moore working with the players," Draper said.
"It's also about developing coaches and first aiders, we're giving back to the volunteers as well."
The camps were supported by the CQ NRL Bid and Draper said the QRL Central Division was very appreciative.
"We have some CQ NRL bid representative players attending the camp and the CQ NRL bid is the major sponsor of the event. Without their sponsorship we wouldn't be able to hold the camp," he said.
"With their support it makes it affordable for kids to come along and it has been great. They've helped out with prizes and have been fantastic about it."
Draper said while the camp was open to anyone who wanted to come along, there were a few kids attending who were handpicked to attend.
"Two kids from out west, one from Charleville and one from Blackall, received an award at a carnival and Prime Properties in Rockhampton sponsored them to come along," Draper said.
"We have a few rep players as well as a few aspiring to be there.
"You don't have to be a rep player to come along, it's a good mix of kids and they have been absolutely fantastic.
"They've probably been the best group we've had together and they've just been unreal and really well behaved."
As this year marks the third year of the development camp, Draper said he was looking forward to future events.