Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Regional Academy New Era for Sport

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Regional Academy New Era for Sport

Article excerpt

Byline: Guy Williams

RUGBY LEAGUE: Rockhampton is continuing on its way to becoming Australia's premier regional sporting centre.

The CQ NRL Bid announced on Friday what many people in the region were hoping, and expecting, the organisation to do.

The organisation will form a regional education, vocation and sport academy, to be based in Rockhampton, which will foster a new era for sport and community cohesion in Central Queensland.

While the focus will be on developing NRL players, the resources will be available to all promising young sportspeople.

An NRL team in Central Queensland will run independently of the academy, but bid chairman Geoff Murphy has indicated that it would be ideal if both worked together.

"We see that as a very important component. Mind you, it is not essential," Murphy said.

"The NRL bid will proceed regardless of the academy and, in turn, if we are fortunate with the academy, the academy can stand alone without the NRL bid.

"But, of course, both of them are great fits and we would love to see both of them together."

The initiative is not only about developing rugby league in the region, but more about developing all-round sporting stars.

"We see it as a very important function for Central Queensland more than necessarily for the NRL bid, even though it will be advantageous," Murphy said.

Central Queensland has an excellent track record of producing sporting talent across a range of sports, but in the past those athletes needed to move to further their careers.

The academy will ensure athletes from all regional centres have the opportunity to flourish.

"Eventually it will be for the whole of regional Queensland, not just Central Queensland," CQ NRL Bid chief executive Denis Keeffe said.

"We'll have probably 100 or more people attending the academy. …

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