The next generation of Queensland touch football stars came together on the Gold Coast earlier this year for a Q Youth Academy camp.
The Q Youth Academy started in 2017 and has developed into an important part of the Queensland Youth player, coach and referee pathway.
The Q Youth Academy is a three day intensive touch football training camp for athletes aged 12-17 years old, for those looking towards the pathway into state, national and international levels of the game.
The camp includes components of many areas of touch football including skill enhancement, agility, speed & fitness testing, injury prevention, and an elite induction with guest speakers.
Click here for the 2023 Q Youth Academy team announcement.
Queensland Touch Football Development Officer Katie Geiger said the camp was a great success.
“The 2023 Q Youth Academy has been very well received from players, referees and coaches,” Geiger said.
“It was great to be able to work with our partners The Fit Lab on this event – the feedback we’ve received around the sessions and knowledge from The Fit Lab team was the best some of our participants have ever seen.
“This Academy is a statewide pathway opportunity, and what we want to provide for everybody that attends is giving them access to the best of everything.
“Offering a professional environment, providing them the knowledge around what that looks like and what it takes – preparation, hydration, nutrition, recovery and all the knowledge it takes to be an elite athlete.
“Giving our athletes the tools to walk away knowing what a professional sporting environment looks like, and what the expectations are in that space,” she said.
Following the camp, Geiger said participants will now return home where she hopes to see them using learnings from the Q Youth Academy in their everyday environments.
“From here, our players, coaches and referees will go back to their home environments and that’s why we want to make sure they’re equipped with all the right knowledge, tips and tricks that they might not have received before,” Geiger said.
“We like them to go back to their affiliates and regions, use the knowledge from the Q Youth Academy, share the knowledge with others they’re playing with and then hopefully we get to see them again at the National Youth Championships.
“The hope is we get to see them there as improved players both on and off the field,” she said.
Looking ahead to the future, Geiger said she hopes to see many more of the Q Youth Academy participants going on to state and national representation opportunities.
“In recent years, the Q Youth Academy has produced athletes like Shameus Edwards and Rhani Hagan,” Geiger said.
“They’ve come right through the pathway system with Queensland Touch Football, and recently just played for the Indigenous team in the All Stars curtain raiser for the National Rugby league.
“They are great success stories for this program, and we hope to see many more in years to come,” she said.