Last week, over 70 attendees from the families of the club’s Harold Matthews (Under 16’s), SG Ball (Under 18’s) and Holden Cup (Under 20's) squads gathered together at Raiders Belconnen for an induction into life as a developing Canberra Raider.
Upon arrival, there were plenty of nerves and excitement from the young players and plenty of curiosity from their parents about what was on offer for their sons both on and off the field.
By the end of the 90 minute seminar, both players and parents were left with a comprehensively in-depth and informative overview of the wide variety of opportunities and assistance provided by the club, along with the an outline of the privilege and expectations that come with being a Canberra Raider.
The induction seminar was conducted by NRL Football Manager John Bonasera, Recruitment and High Performance Manager David Hamilton, Dietician Leigh Woodbridge, Welfare and Education Manager David Thom and Career Development Manager Dean Souter.
“The purpose of the induction evening for parents is to ensure they are aware of the opportunity their boys have, not just in football terms but from a complete athlete development perspective,” Souter said. “We spend about 90 minutes with them and cover the following aspects:
· The football side of life (DH)
· Behaviour, the Raiders brand, do’s & don’ts (JB)
· Medical cover, processes for using medical service providers, WADA and supplements and drugs (JB)
· Nutrition (LW)
· Welfare & Education programs and services (DT)
· Career development programs and grants (DS)
Another aspect to the induction was a presentation by Frank Arsego and Glenn Baird, the Directors at SportsLife iQ; a wellness program outsourced for all junior representative players.
“SportsLife iQ looks to support and educate athletes in the areas of health and wellbeing in order for them to fulfil their personal life and professional sporting goals,” Arsego said.
“The services include a solution oriented approach to training, support, outreach and counselling. These products can be adapted to clients across the sporting spectrum, from the underage grass roots athlete, through to the full time elite sportsperson.
Mitch Cornish and Andrew Heffernan - Two successful SportsLife iQ Graduates
“Our products and services will develop resilient athletes to deal with the associated adversities and benefits that come with their profession. This will support them when facing personal and public perceptions that are placed on sportspeople and their roles in society.
“While health, wellbeing and psychological services have been provided to the industry for approximately 15 years, Glenn and I have been fortunate enough to have gained experience in national and international professional sport, in both coach and player capacity, and health, wellbeing and counselling operations.
“With the unique design of our services and our dynamic and highly experienced staff, SportsLife iQ is committed to supporting and developing resilient athletes and their teams.”
CLICK HERE to find out more about SportsLife iQ.
All in all, it would be hard to locate a player or parent who wasn’t impressed and thoroughly informed by the induction night.
Below is some feedback from parents from each of the Raiders junior representative sides:
- Mother from the Under 16’s
“The night was really, really informative and it was very positive to know that the Raiders are covering issues such as mental health and self-esteem because statistics out there show that young men have some of the highest levels of suicide. It was really informative, very positive and extremely professional.”
- Mother from the Under 18’s
“This evening’s presentation was very valuable. There was a lot of useful information available which was really beneficial to me as a parent to know what’s available to these young boys in the background away from football so if they need any help I know which direction to point them in. I was really happy with the presentation.”
- Father from the Under 20’s
“I found this evening’s presentation very informative. I think it is something that all parents need to go through. There were no hidden agendas there; everything we needed to know as parents and everything our boys needed to know to succeed was all covered from the ground up. I couldn’t ask for anything more as a parent. I came down from the Gold Coast to give my son a shot with the Raiders due to the professionalism at the club. As a parent you want positive people to help guide your son along and that’s what we’re getting here at the Raiders.”