SPECIAL GUEST: Former North Queensland Cowboys player Paul Bowman was joined by St Catherine's Catholic College staff, past and present Whitsunday Brahmans players and volunteers to host a local youth rugby league training clinic at the school on Thursday, October 10.
SPECIAL GUEST: Former North Queensland Cowboys player Paul Bowman was joined by St Catherine's Catholic College staff, past and present Whitsunday Brahmans players and volunteers to host a local youth rugby league training clinic at the school on Thursday, October 10. Contributed

Bowman in town to share tips with budding footy players

MORE than 50 youth from across the region took part in the Paul Bowman Training Clinic at St Catherine's Catholic College last week.

The former St Catherine's student and former North Queensland Cowboys player was joined by SCCC staff, past and present Whitsunday Brahmans players and former rugby league development officer Brad Henry, who ran participants through a number of drills and exercises before having a question-and-answer and autograph session at the end.

Bowman played 203 games for the North Queensland Cowboys and represented Queensland in 12 State of Origin games, with the 2001 game a personal career highlight.

"Playing with Alfie Langer was a highlight as I grew up idolising him,” Bowman said.

SCCC Secondary Sports Department hosted the inaugural event.

Sports co-ordinator Bruce Laguna said he was thrilled to have such a talented and enthusiastic group of boys and girls from the Whitsundays join Bowman for the event.

While the training clinic focused on improving the youths' skills, it also highlighted the importance of playing sports and living a healthy lifestyle.

"Don't just play rugby league, play all sports,” Bowman said.

"Then you don't specialise or pigeon hole yourself into a sport or position and you don't get bored.

"It's not always about scoring tries but saving them and setting them up too.”

Bowman praised the youth for taking part in the event and listening so well.

At the end of the afternoon, Bowman handed out two Cowboys footballs to Jayden Peck and Shakaya Costello, who stood out during the clinic.

The question on all of the participants' lips was how they would go from playing junior rugby league to making it in the big league.

"Concentrate on your academics at school because a footy career might only last a short time,” Bowman said.

"To make a career out of it (rugby league) you have to be an immortal like Johnathan Thurston.

"A lot of things are different for kids playing footy than when I was growing up. When I was a kid there wasn't a lot of footy on TV, you watched the junior and senior footy and idolised the local players like Eddie Muller, the Dray brothers and Dave Telford.

"They were who I followed. I wanted to play Agrade for the Brahmans. That was my dream.”