Some 32 Auckland based potential Kiwi players attended the third in a series of Junior Elite Roots camps being run by the NZRL.
Held at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday 18 July the camp featured presentations by Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney, past Kiwi players Ruben Wiki and Tawera Nikau along with a Four Nations update by Tony Kemp, NZRL Football Manager.
In addition to these Kiwi legends, the camp was also attended by Tony Iro, Jerry Seuseu and current Kiwis Manu Vatuvei and Simon Mannering.
The aim of the camps is to inspire and offer guidance to those who have been identified as having the potential to become representative players for their country. Each of the Kiwis present talked to the players about what it means to be a part of the Kiwis culture, how important it was to them not only in their league career but in their lives to be a part of the brotherhood.
Following equally successful camps held in Sydney in March and Melbourne in May, this camp represents a continuation of the NZRL’s commitment of looking to the future and inviting young Kiwis to be a part of it.
Ruben Wiki said “It’s really rewarding for me to be involved in these camps. I’ve been trying to pass on some tools to the young kids, just reminding them of what they need to think about to succeed and the sacrifices they need to make. These sacrifices are only small - like eating better food, putting in a bit of extra training, focussing on family values to get them through the tough times and working on their mental toughness. Small changes can reap big rewards. The great thing about the boys playing for the Warriors is they are in touch with their identity. I have asked them to take advantage of me being around, to ask for help and support if they need it. I remind them that I come from Otara and if you work hard then dreams can come true.”
Stephen Kearney agrees “These young boys are surrounded by so many great role models, people like Simon and Manu who gave up their time to come along to the camp to show their support. Ruben and Tony are just down the road and I’m always looking to the future and we are all willing to support anyone who is prepared to do the work.
Talent will only ever get you so far, to be a long term success requires hard work, training and commitment and some sacrifices. We just want to remind them of the rewards of making positive choices, and to offer our support to those who are willing to make the commitment.”
A final camp will be held in Brisbane later in the year, ensuring no young potential Kiwi misses out on the opportunity to take advantage of this excellent advice and to consider their future with the brotherhood.