iSelect Titans front-rower Mitch Sharp was today chosen in the NRL’s National Youth League Academic Team of the Year, announced in Sydney.
The 19-year-old Sharp has not only been in fine form for our Holden Cup side that has won three of their past three home matches, he has shown great discipline and commitment off the field.
He is studying nursing at Griffith University as part of the Graduates of League program and also works as a plumber’s assistant to put himself through university, and finds time to train with the Titans under-20s three evenings a week.
“I am honoured and humbled to be selected in the first NYC Academic team of the year,” Sharp, who turns 20 next month, said.
“It is great to be recognised not only as a rugby league player but as a person who has achieved results off the field. I would also like to thank the NRL for their support with introducing the ‘NRL Graduates of League program’; the tutoring I have received for my university degree this year has been of a great help.”
NRL-RLPA welfare and education committee spokesman Mark Coyne said that education and workplace training was important for progression in the workforce.
“We have a wonderful group of incredibly successful NRL players here today who have shown that both commitment to the game and study are achievable,” Coyne said.
“Not only are these players a credit to themselves but are also an inspiration to all other young players showing that they too can balance further studies and a rugby league career.
“I would like to congratulate not only Holden Cup players who have achieved a place on the team today, but all Holden Cup players who are part of the game’s new generation committing to both a career in football and further studies.”
Academic Team of the Year recipient Brent Tate said that he could not emphasise importance of work place training and study.
“For me I having a conversation with Wayne Bennett a few years ago I realised the importance of getting an education,” Tate said.
“It was not long after that I realised I had to start the wheels in motion in terms of studying. As a result, I am feeling more prepared to enter the workforce when I approach the back end of my career.”
The NRL-RLPA education program highlights include:
· 78 per cent (800) of NRL and NYC players are engaged in further education or workplace training. The NRL is committed to growing that to 84 per cent by 2017.
· 220 players were enrolled in a university degree at the start of the 2014 season which is an increase from the 68 players that enrolled in the 2008 season.
· 24 per cent of Indigenous players in the Holden Cup are attending university.
· Currently 18 academic institutions deliver the NRL’s Graduates of League program. The completion rate of all players attempting university courses has increased from 60 per cent to 87 per cent in just two years.
· 330 players from junior representative teams, NYC, State Cups and the NRL undertaking apprenticeship are mentored by current and former NRL players.
· There have been 350 education grants provided to players in the 2014 season from the NRL/ RLPA education fund totalling over $450,000.
NRL TEAM OF THE YEAR
Broncos Todd Lowrie Cert IV in Project Management &
Cert IV in small business
Bulldogs Dale Finucane Bachelor of Health and Movement
Raiders David Shillington Bachelor of Business
Diploma of Business
Cowboys Brent Tate Cert iv Frontline Management
Cert iv Small Business
Sea Eagles Tom Symonds Graduated Bachelor of Health and Exercise Science
Sea Eagles Brenton Lawrence Bachelor of Arts in International studies (completed Certificates III and IV in Training & Level 2 Coaching
Storm Ryan Hoffman Bachelor of Business
Knights Robbie Rochow Degree in Civil Engineering
Panthers Jeremy Latimore Bachelor of Commerce
Panthers Education Ambassador
Panthers Ryan Simpkins Diploma in Hydraulics Design
Rabbitohs Jason Clark Cert III Fitness and Cert IV in Small Business
Dragons Jason Nightingale Bachelor of Business Degree
International NRL Player
Warriors Siliva Havili Bachelor of Health Science – Podiatry
NYC TEAM OF THE YEAR
Bulldogs Adam Elliott Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy)
Raiders Andrew Heffernan Bachelor of Sports Coaching & Exercise Science
Cowboys Corey Jensen Degree in Sport & Exercise Science
Titans Mitch Sharp Bachelor of Nursing
Sea Eagles Jack Delaney Bachelor of Business & Commerce
Storm Christian Welch Bachelor Commerce degree
Knights Lachlan Fitzgibbon Bachelor of Construction Management
Panthers Joshjua Tangitau Degree in Exercise Sports Science
Sharks Ben Chahoud Carpentry Apprenticeship
Rabbitohs Cheyne Whitelaw Bachelor of Exercise Physiology
Dragons Adam Clune Degree in Law
Warriors Mason Lino Bachelor of Business
Wests Tigers Nathan Milone Bachelor of Business UTS
TRADESMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
Broncos Aaron Rockley
NRL PASIFIKA ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD
(Proudly sponsored by the NRL and Diamond Galleria)
Warriors Jerome Ropati
Bulldogs Sam Perrett