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Northern Queensland has successfully defended its National Indigenous Under 16s title, after beating Northern New South Wales on the Gold Coast earlier this week.
An initiative of the Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team (LMRDT), the two day Championship, held at Bond University, exposes athletes from across the country to Rugby and life skills.
Executive Officer of LMRDT, Tom Evans, said the two day Championship provided young Indigenous athletes with more than just a weekend of Rugby.
“Ultimately the Rugby objective is selection, but the off-field objective is to encourage these young men to stay in school and continue to become better individuals and community leaders.
“At all of the tournaments the Lloyd McDermott Team run, we try to ensure the Rugby is complemented by education.”
Founder Lloyd McDermott and injured Qantas Wallabies star Kurtley Beale attended and provided advice on the importance of education and sportsmanship. Beale also presented the awards after each game.
Beale said of his role within the program, “I really enjoy giving back to members of the community and giving these young men advice from experiences from my life and my career. If I can just help one kid along their journey in their life and their career, I will be very satisfied.”
As part of the event, Headspace, a national youth mental health foundation, delivered a mental health and suicide awareness program to all 135 athletes, and Headspace ambassador and AFL player Simon Hogan provided a first-hand account of the effects of depression on a professional athlete and early detection advice.
Northern Territory, Northern QLD, Southern QLD, Northern NSW, Southern NSW/ACT and Combined States were represented in the competition, with Northern Queensland defeating Northern New South Wales 38-19 to retain the title and Southern Queensland taking third place with a 38-24 win over Southern NSW/ ACT.
Jack Smith from Ignatius Park College, Cairns was awarded Player of the Tournament, with teammate Frances Mohamed from St Augustine’s College, Cairns, taking out the Best Forward or Back Award. Both will be representing LMRDT on the upcoming tour of France and Belgium.
This tournament provided the platform for selection of players to represent the National Indigenous squad at the ARU National Under 16s Championships next month.
The ARU National Under 16s Championships is a National residential tournament for Under 16 players for National, State or Territory representative teams, conducted annually by the Australian Rugby Union and is another important element of the Player Pathway at National, Provincial, Regional and Affiliate level.
The 2013 ARU National Under 16s Championships will be held at St Ignatius College Riverview from Sunday 29 September until Friday 4 October.
The full list of players selected to represent the National Indigenous squad for the 2013 National Under 16s Championships is below.
National Indigenous Under 16s Selection 2013
Daniel Stanley Barrow
Calvin Butle Hiddlestin