7 March, 2021
Local player selected for prestigious academy
Local lad has been accepted into the prestigious Queensland Cowboys Academy Program this year
AN UP-AND-COMING rugby league player has been given the opportunity of a lifetime after he was selected for a prestigious program earlier in the year.
Emerald local Sam Chick, 16, was recently selected for the Queensland Cowboys Academy Program for 2021.
In the past, Sam has been chosen for many Central Highlands league sides and has been specifically selected from a pool of skilled young players.
Sam said he did not know he was accepted into the Academy until the night before it was due to start.
“My mum knew before I did,” he said.
“I had done a few games at the start of the season and a scout from the camps saw me play which was how I was selected.
“There is a training camp with three different training sessions.
“The Academy has five different camps around Queensland, and Central Queensland has 24 players enrolled this year.”
Sam is a standout player, who said he works hard to build the skills he needs to further his sporting career.
Sam said they work on a lot of different aspects of performance improvement at the training camps.
“We do gym work, and we develop from there,” he said.
“We work on fitness testing and ball skills, and the trainers watch us and manage our performance.”
Sam said his ultimate goal was to join the NRL but had a lot of goals in the meantime.
“I want to join the smaller teams and work on my fitness, doing things like making it to five laps in four minutes,” he said.
“I would also like to join the Young Guns team, which is the level below the NRL.
“I want to work on little goals to make me a better rugby player.”
The Queensland Cowboys Academy Program selects young players from around the state, seeing many through to bigger teams such as the National Rugby League.
Sam said he is “very excited to be a part of it”.
“To be able to be involved and wear the jersey on my back is a privilege as not many people from smaller towns get this kind of opportunity,” he said.
“My advice to younger, less experienced players is if you want something you need to work for it.
“If you fail, use it to motivate you for next time.
“Try hard to be the best version of yourself you can be.”