The annual leadership and cultural camp for Indigenous and Maori students has kicked off in Sydney and there’s more to it than just playing a game.
16-year-old Footy lover, Jayvis Hunt has a message for other teenagers.
“Leadership, culture, post school education and post school employment - they're the key areas for the summit.”
“I believe these days, kids, they’re not mature enough... But when we have adult leadership and these types of programs, it teaches us to go in the right path if you know what I mean - go to university and get degrees.”
He's just one of 64 students from around the country plus New Zealand, who are here for the NRL All Stars Youth Summit, facilitated as part of the NRL's School to Work program.
All Stars camp organiser Paul Sinclair says it's not how well you can play that matters.
“The program is not all about sport, it's for those students who are doing well with their studies and turning up regularly to school,” he said.
“Throughout the week we instil messages about leadership, about culture, post school education and post school employment - they're the key areas for the summit.”
NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg says this is about learning lifelong leadership skills.
“Take every single bit back, take it back to your communities to be the leaders that we're told you can be and should be and will be.”
In an action-packed week, the group will spend some time with each All Stars team and Jayvis is hoping for a chance to meet his hero and one of Australia's leading Indigenous sport stars.
“I’m transitioning into half back so I'd like to meet Johnathan Thurston and get some tips and tricks and see how I can improve my game.”
Sinclair says the summit has a ripple effect in the community and the All Stars week wouldn't be the same without it.
“Kids who didn’t think about university have now entreated university, they’re more confident with job application process...overwhelmingly the feedback we get is always positive.”
Tune into Ch34 this Friday 10th February at 5:30pm (EDST) to watch the NRL Women's All Stars: Indigenous v World game, or catch it online via our live stream.