Wests Tigers prepare junior players for the future

Around 200 junior players were at St Gregorys College, Campbelltown on Saturday for the inaugural Wests Tigers Junior Representative Welfare session.


A mixture of SG Ball and Harold Matthews players from Balmain Tigers, Western Suburbs Magpies and South Western Sydney Academy of Sport attended the day, which was aimed at developing players both on and off the field.


The new initiative involved all Wests Tigers Junior Representative players completing the three mandatory NRL courses on the same day. The day provided players with the opportunity to bond, whilst receiving vital information at the same time.


Players attended education programs on ethical decision making, anti-doping, mental health, nutrition and career planning.


The mental health session is a new program that was developed between the NRL and Black Dog Institute. Former NRL star Preston Campbell shares his story on battling depression during the interactive session.


Squad members also heard from NRL and Wests Tigers Development Officer, Tim Aruemi who was bound for a full time contract before an injury sustained in the Under 20s his career cut-short his career. After slacking off at school because he thought footy was everything, Aruemi had to rebuild his life.


Western Suburbs Junior, Evander Titie said the day provided beneficial information about what to expect during the progression through to professional football.


Its very important to have a plan B and see if theres anything outside of footy that I can work on, Titie said.


Helping with my nutrition and any extras I could do for training, obviously these things will help me become a better footballer and improve my discipline.


Balmain Tigers player Jack Wheelhouse said the day reminded all players to always have another avenue to pursue other than Rugby League.


Its great to get more knowledge on dieting and how this only a pathway and to always have a plan B for something to fall back on, Wheelhouse said.


Ive taken a fair bit out of the dieting session, like what percentage of protein and fats to have in your diet.


It wasnt only the players who benefited from the program, with approximately 80 parents attending a briefing on the same session the players were undergoing. This was followed with a talk from Rugby League Player Agents Accreditation Scheme from Paul Massey.


With the day considered a resounding success, Wests Tigers will look to hold more combined Junior Representative events in the near future.