Welcome to the first instalment of Swifty’s Community Corner which will be a regular wrap-up of the activities from our community and game development staff, compiled by young Titans players and staff member Sam Swift, a budding journalist who makes his debut for the Titans under-20s this Sunday.

THE boys clocked up a few kilometres last week. On the Monday Sam went down to Lake Ainsworth for the annual DET Sports Connect Day. The annual event is for school children in the northern rivers area who have disabilities. It was an enjoyable, fun filled time with Sam mingling with dozens of beautiful children who played a variety of sports including rugby league. The day was a success with a special moment occurring when a very determined vision impaired boy from Wollongbar PS named Shaun participated in tackling and passing with the NRL staff (attached video).

Daniel and Anthony travelled to Ballina Seagulls JRL club on Tuesday for the under-16s Titans Shield. Four schools entered the competition from the Northern Rivers region with Tweed River High School reigning supreme going undefeated to lift the shield. NBN television were present to file a story for the evening news with Anthony featuring in an interview as a former player of the competition who has continued on to play in the NYC.

On Thursday, Kathryn from the NRL and Anthony ventured out to Jimboomba State School for the second week of the Backyard League Clinic. The three-week program includes classes from prep to year five and aims to teach school children the basic skills of rugby league. It was also a busy day for Daniel on Thursday when he went to Crystal Creek Public School for a careers expo. Daniel answered questions about his career aspirations outside football while also running the pass the ball inflatable.

Daniel, Sam and Anthony rounded out the week at Mudgeeraba Redbacks Junior Rugby League Club for the weekly specialised touch football competition. The competition is an opportunity for disabled children from different schools around the Gold Coast to participate in touch football and other fun modified rugby league orientated games.

This week was also a busy one with our team travelling to Ormeau and Coomera on Monday before heading to Caningeraba State School and Clover Hill State School on Tuesday and rounding out the week back at Ormeau on Thursday.

On Monday, Sam travelled to our Titans Learning Centre (TLC) based at Coomera Rivers State School. He acted as a teacher’s aide alongside fellow NYC squad member Tevita Folau who is situated at the centre full-time. The Coomera TLC, which is one of two Titans Learning Centres based on the Gold Coast, aims to support students who have been identified by their teachers as being at risk of disengaging from school by providing a positive learning environment that affords all students the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Monday also saw Daniel and Anthony venture up to Ormeau State School’s Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) to run an ‘Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well’ program that was followed by a coaching clinic. It was a successful afternoon with the children learning the importance of building a healthy lifestyle and making positive choices.

Swifty headed out to Caningeraba State School on Wednesday morning to read to the little grade one classes in accordance with the ‘My Hero Reads Too’ program. The program highlights the importance of regular reading for primary school children and encourages students to engage more in their learning. It was an enjoyable morning for all, with Sam reading his favourite book ‘1,2,3 Rugby League’ and the children receiving signed Titans posters.

Wednesday also saw Luke Bailey and Nate Myles visit Clover Hill State School to congratulate Summer Evans who took out the Bartercard colouring in competition. Summer was delighted to receive a visit from two of her favourite NRL players and it was a just reward for such a brilliant colouring in.

Thursday saw Roma State College students make the twelve-hour round trip to Robina for the opportunity to tour the Titans training facilities and watch their NRL heroes train.

The students were in awe as they toured the world-class facilities with many surprised at the level of commitment required to play NRL. The students also bumped into the Titans own Roma product Ben Ridge, who took a break from his injury rehabilitation to chat to the group.

Upon the completion of the tour, the students were treated to watching the NRL team train. They were ecstatic to see some of their favourite players go through the drills at training and were lucky enough to receive signatures and photographs at the end of training. We can’t forget our tour guides Anthony and Daniel who once again did a brilliant job answering questions and sharing their own experiences as NYC players as they embark on a journey of their own to the NRL. (photo above)

After their tour with the Roma students, Anthony and Daniel travelled to Livingstone Christian College, Ormeau, to take their year 9 rugby league team through their paces. The team plays in a regular interschool competition but following the forfeit of the opposition this week, their coach asked that the Titans run a coaching clinic to help prepare them for their next match. Anthony and Daniel conducted specific attacking and defensive drills before finishing the session with a modified game.