Juniors to fly flag for NW

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The Broome Jets players and coaching staff that will be representing the North West Reds at the upcoming Junior State Championships.
Camera IconThe Broome Jets players and coaching staff that will be representing the North West Reds at the upcoming Junior State Championships. Credit: Carly Laden

Junior rugby league in Broome has been given a massive boost as 11 local youngsters get ready to represent the North West Reds at the Junior State League Championships from April 13-16.

Annabella Thompson, Fletcher Moase, Jesse Wood, Keats Sullivan, Lewis Hailes, Meckhi Townsend, Preston Townsend, Taj Austin, and Jaimee Cook have been named as squad members of the 12s mixed squad, while Aiden McKenna and Cayden Sullivan have been named members of the 15s boys’ squad.

Broome Jets Rugby League head coach Sean Durant said the number of Broome children making the North West Reds squads had shown a significant growth from 2018.

“Last year, we only had two Broome kids be part of the North West Reds, so to go from two to 10 is pretty awesome for a club that has a bag of footballs and some markers,” he said. “The large Broome representation means we will have more of a training base here for the North West Reds, as well as the training base in Karratha.

“This way, we’ll definitely be able to create more opportunities for aspiring players.”

Durant said he believed junior sport was all about providing pathways to play at higher levels.

“I think the kids will be excited to represent the North West in Perth and that, of course, could provide ways to represent WA and maybe even Australia in the future,” he said. “The growth of women’s sport is huge as well, so the fact we have two Broome girls in the 12s squad is awesome.”

Durant will be coaching the 12s mixed squad, with help from assistant coaches Patrick Moase and Matty Corpus, and team manager Ashlea Thompson. Durant said in the lead-up to the Junior State League Championships, the Pilbara-based squad members would travel to Broome in March for a training camp and team-building exercises.

“The distance between all the players does make it harder to bond as a team, but this training camp will help solidify the team,” he said. “I think everyone going into the tournament will be excited by this huge achievement to represent the North West because they’re so passionate about rugby league.

“A lot of people did not think rugby league would be successful in Broome and now here we are.

“If you have the passion for it and you’re willing to take every opportunity, there’s nothing stopping you.”

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