Cowboys teach their skills to the next generation
THERE was no shortage of talent on the field when the North Queensland Cowboys visited Bowen on Tuesday.
As part of the North Queensland Bulk Ports Blitz, Cowboys hooker Kurt Baptiste and retired player Ray Thompson took part in an afternoon of training at the Bowen Seagulls home ground with the best rugby league talent the region has on offer.
More than 80 players took part in the event, with children travelling as far as Collinsville to have the chance to train with their idols.
The training session had a focus on speed and agility, with a final match letting players show off their newly learnt skills.
Kurt Baptiste, who is currently injured with a torn ACL suffered playing for Papua New Guinea in the June Pacific test match, said that the talent on the field was astounding.
"There's a lot of nippy kids out here who are really showing their skills to us," Baptiste said.
"Getting out to the regions and letting the kids see and train with us is an amazing opportunity.
"I remember when I was growing up in Brisbane and how much the community events with the Broncos would really inspire me to try my hardest and build my talent."
Baptiste was happy to see a large amount of female rugby league players in attendance, saying it was an area of rugby league that he was excited to see be built on in the future.
He also commented on the hometown hero, Corey Jensen, calling him one of Bowen's finest exports.
"He's a great player and really fits in where ever he is needed," Baptiste said.
"I hope to see him on the field more in the future."
Bowen Seagulls secretary Monika Piggott was amazed at the turnout on the day calling it a win for local sports.
"We have children here who don't even play for the Seagulls who have turned up to have a chance to meet and train with these guys," Mrs Piggott said.
"It helps to have these kinds of community engagement events for us as some of these children may decide to play for the Seagulls next year and continue the longevity of the club.
As part of the Bowen visit, the Cowboys also visited schools across the region to help promote healthy lifestyle choices.