THE NRL’s new southern region development manager Dean Whymark has big plans for the Far South Coast next year.
Whymark took some time to talk to the BDN during a very successful NRL development clinic in Bega on Wednesday about his new job, the great turnout on the day and the NRL’s plans for the region in the future.
Whymark, who has been in the job for a little over six months now, said the clinic day in Bega was a tremendous success with more than 80 kids turning out for the event.
“We’ve got 83, including 19 from Wallaga Lake which is fantastic,” Whymark said.
“[To have] 80 kids for a clinic in the school holidays when the rugby league has finished is outstanding.
“If you could get 80 kids to turn up to clinics all over the coast we’d be very happy,” he said.
Whymark said the eager young players were treated to a round-robin session of training from more than half a dozen talented development officers.
“We’ve got seven or eight development staff here all sharing their expertise with the kids.
“We’ve got both boys and girls, its a great thing for the community,” he said.
Bega-based NRL development officer Damian Kennedy said after the training the youngsters were treated to a barbecue lunch that was prepared by Bega Minor Rugby League Club members Dax Kelly and Norm Griffin.
Whymark told the BDN it was his second visit to the region and he had taken part in a meeting with eight of the NRL bosses in Bega to discuss next year’s goals.
“We had eight attendees from the NRL here and we discussed development plans for term 4 and 2014,” he said.
“We’re in our planning phase at the moment.
“So [we are] looking towards what we can do for not only this area but all the areas along the coast.”
Whymark said that school gala days had been a big talking point at the meeting along with cooperation from big NRL clubs.
“Basically we looked at our gala day structure for next year to make sure we can get as many schools as we can involved.
“Whether it be the league tag structure or rugby league, we just want to encourage all kids to play the game,” he said.
Whymark said opportunities with NRL clubs would provide opportunities for young local players.
“We’ve had good meetings with the Canberra Raiders.
“This year they facilitated some of the junior clubs in Group 16 to play on their match days at Canberra Stadium.
“We are looking to continue that.”
Whymark said the Raiders were looking to develop players along the coast.
“The Raiders are looking to become heavily involved in the area.
“As the NRL brand, we fully welcome any NRL clubs to come down,
“The Dragons have also expressed an interest to come down and help out the kids,” he said.
Whymark said the next season was looking good for the area and he was excited to see local clubs develop.
“In 2014 our main plans are to utilise these NRL clubs and utilise the staff to engage as many kids as possible across the schools and clinic days.
“We want to keep building on the great work that’s already been done,” he said.